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Old 01-30-2008, 05:27 PM
 
673 posts, read 2,710,121 times
Reputation: 421

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Apparently a business named Intelius is making money by selling cell phone numbers:

Cell phone directory rings alarm bells - Wireless - MSNBC.com

You have to pay to have your cell number removed. But Intelius won't tell you if your cell number is listed, so you may pay unnecessarily. Great deal for Intelius, hmm?

If you value your privacy (and your cell phone minutes), please contact your representatives and ask them to require that Intelius provide your cell number status and remove your number: for free. Use congress.org to reach all of your representatives at once. Better yet, make your letter public on the site and let your representatives know that other constituents are reading it. Encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
4,620 posts, read 14,920,246 times
Reputation: 4620
As an FYI it goes far beyond cell phone numbers. For a few dollars an average person can purchase all kinds of information about another from companies like Intelius. In this day-n-age when everyone is requiring background checks (before employment as one example), companies such as Intelius have realized the potential profits. Thus, it is very, very easy to buy tons of personal data (besides cell phone numbers) for as little as $40.

So, while you're contacting your representatives about that, also insist that credit reports apply a "freeze out" to lookers. Right now you can pay the credit bureaus to prevent anyone from accessing your credit history -- but that should be a free service. Granted, not all lookers have the permission to look at all the nitty-gritty details of your credit, but they can get a basic report without your knowledge or permission.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 9,732,059 times
Reputation: 1398
What you need to understand about this is that Intelius has garnered these numbers from public information sources and it costs $15 to look up a number. This means that if your number is on that list, you gave it to one of those sources at some time or another. If you're concerned about your cell phone being on the list, simply change it, and don't share it.

It's not that difficult to keep your cell phone number private.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:46 AM
 
673 posts, read 2,710,121 times
Reputation: 421
Telemarketing to a cell phone number costs the target subscriber money. That's wrong. (And I'm sure it doesn't cost telemarketers $15/number.) As a parallel, legislation was passed in the last few years to outlaw telesales by fax: because it tied up a business phone line and used business materials (both costing the business money). Cell phone number directories should be an opt-in or just plain illegal. I also agree that credit freeze-outs should be free and quick (while allowing credit clients to grant access on a case-by-case basis).

I'm curious: how do you keep your cell phone number private on public information sources? Are you legally required to provide a (legitimate) phone number? Also, many public information sources require a social security number but those aren't provided to organizations like Intelius. So apparently the public information sources have some controls. They need to be expanded to anything that costs money to the subject of the public information.

As soon as I get off this thread, I'm going to Amazon for a copy of "How to keep your public information private". :-)

Last edited by aaauger; 01-31-2008 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 9,732,059 times
Reputation: 1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaauger View Post
Telemarketing to a cell phone number costs the target subscriber money.
Why do you answer your phone when it shows a telemarketing prefix? On the extremely rare instances one manages to find my number, I don't bother answering. Thus, no charges, and if they don't get a "hit", they stop calling.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:55 PM
 
119 posts, read 715,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
Why do you answer your phone when it shows a telemarketing prefix? On the extremely rare instances one manages to find my number, I don't bother answering. Thus, no charges, and if they don't get a "hit", they stop calling.

what's a telemktg prefix?
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,259 posts, read 24,665,577 times
Reputation: 3587
This is not a big deal. Nobody is selling list of cell phone numbers. They have a directory that will sell an individual number but that would be way too expensive for a telephone sales operation to buy. Also cell phone numbers are becoming harder to differentiate from landlines because of number portability. We should have done like much of Europe did and assign certain prefixes or area codes to cell phones so people would clearly know when they are calling a cell phone or a landline.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 9,732,059 times
Reputation: 1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgs333 View Post
what's a telemktg prefix?
Google is your friend. Do a search using "telemarketing prefix".
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:09 AM
 
673 posts, read 2,710,121 times
Reputation: 421
Just did - it's not obvious. I'd appreciate a link if you have one. I've also had telemarketing calls show up as 800 numbers, as do legitimate calls.

A number of friends are now getting telemarketing calls to their cell phones. So someone is buying the cell numbers. And buyers will certainly get a volume discount from Intelius or any other aggregator. That having been said, best courses of action seem to be: 1) just don't provide the cell phone number (per Roam) and 2) submit the cell phone number to the Do Not Call registry.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,259 posts, read 24,665,577 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaauger View Post
Just did - it's not obvious. I'd appreciate a link if you have one. I've also had telemarketing calls show up as 800 numbers, as do legitimate calls.

A number of friends are now getting telemarketing calls to their cell phones. So someone is buying the cell numbers. And buyers will certainly get a volume discount from Intelius or any other aggregator. That having been said, best courses of action seem to be: 1) just don't provide the cell phone number (per Roam) and 2) submit the cell phone number to the Do Not Call registry.
I have got a few but they are probably just robot dialers that call numbers in order and don't care if they hit a cell phone or a landline. The only way to get a cell phone number is if you give it out. Even the directory- which is not yet in operation- will charge $1.50 for each number so no telemarketer will pay that and you will be able to opt out when they start it- if they ever do. The reason people are getting calls is mainly because they put their numbers on a form somewhere- or it was gleaned from caller ID when they called a consumer business- which got put into a database which got sold to a telemarketer. For example, if you call a creditor like a credit card company from your cell phone and do not block your number, they will record it on the record which then gets transmitted to Experian and then sold on a list to data brokers. Turn on Caller ID block when calling a commercial establishment like that. The cell phone company did not sell your number. You should always put your home number on things you fill out and not your cell number. As far as the directory goes, I think it is a good idea. If people need to contact you in an emergency and are willing to pay $1.50 for your number, that is probably a call you need to get.
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