June 2, 2011
June 2, 2011
Solicitors share list of gullible customers. It is called the “Sucker List”.
By Oregon Better Business Bureau
Welcome to the “Sucker List”. Responding to one fraudulent email, letter or phone solicitation may be all it takes to land on a dreaded “sucker list.”
“Sucker lists” contain the names and contact information of previously duped consumers. Lists are often sold and traded between scammers and fraudulent telemarketers. Consumers who engagingly listen to sales pitches, respond to offers, or are sympathetic to charitable appeals are sometimes seen as easy targets and bombarded with additional solicitations.
“It is not uncommon for a scammer to revisit the same people in hopes of more money or information,” said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “If they can engage you, they believe they can persuade you.”
Removing contact information from fraudulent “sucker lists” is difficult, so evading them is key.
Protect phone numbers. Don’t engage telemarketers; instead, screen unknown calls. Phone numbers can be added to the National Do Not Call Registry. Violators can also be reported to this resource. Review Telemarketer Troubles for details.
Shred unsolicited offers. Make sure sweepstakes, lotteries and other unwanted applications go through the shredder. To avoid additional solicitations, read BBB’s previous releases: Completing Surveys Can Increase telemarketing Calls and Junk Mail and Opt Out to Reduce Unwanted Junk Mail.
Read privacy policies. Names traded and sold to build lists can originate from legitimate transactions or activities. To ensure personal details are safe, look for answers in businesses’ privacy policies: How is private information stored? Who has access to the information? Is personal information shared with third parties?
Consumers who continue to receive persistent unwanted emails, calls or letters might consider closing compromised accounts and changing contact information. Find additional details at bbb.org.
About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.
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