[LINK] A 'cold call' scam for telemarketer list building
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Jun 1 11:45:50 EST 2010
I receive things from time to time out of the ether.
This one explains a nasty little scam, which needs to be brought to
public attention. Feel free to re-post this message to appropriate
It's difficult to see how miscreants like this can be tackled by any
of the regulators, because they can hide their location, and make
sure that relevant parts of their operation are out of jurisdictional
>I received two calls from the one company, which appear to
>have the purpose of confirming the name of the person whose
>number they called, while collecting some demographic
>information. Their stated purpose is quite different. This
>may beto build a list of Australian numbers and names for
>the telemarketing - most likely from overseas. My number is
>on the Do Not Call list, which only applies to Australian
>Both callers were women with a strong accent - maybe
>Filipino. The calls may have been from the same woman, but
>they gave different names. Both callers had loud, clear,
>voices but their pronuncation was unclear, because they
>were hurried and because of their accent. It was as if if
>they had been doing thousands of these calls and wanted to
>get each one done as quickly as possible. There was no
>delay, distortion, noise, poor frequency response or
>echo-cancellation, as is often with calls from overseas.
>It could have been a high quality VoIP call from overseas.
>In the first call, the caller said they were doing a survey
>which would take a short time, and that it was not
>telemarketing. I asked for the company, and she said ICS
>"Information Customer Service". I think she said she was
>calling from South Melbourne. She asked if I thought the
>lifestyle had improved over the last five years. The
>question was very poorly formed and I asked her to repeat
>it. I told her I couldn't answer the question and ended the
>A few days later, the second call started in a similar
>fashion. When I asked the name of the company, I was told
>"AICS - Australian Information Customer Service". I asked
>where she was calling from, and she said South Melbourne.
>She said it was a survey and was not collecting personal
>This survey was an "analysis of the working people". An
>Australian company could think of something more credible.
>But maybe an Australian company is behind it and wants it
>to appear from overseas.
>She wanted to know my occupation, but gave only about three
>categories, of which I selected one. For my partner, she
>gave three choices, of which two were hospitality and
>education. I said it was none of these and she asked for my
>partner's occupation. I told her an occupation. She asked
>I was a home owner or mortgage payer. I said neither. She
>asked if I rented and I said yes. She asked our age range.
>Then she asked for my name. I said she had just told me she
>wasn't collecting personal information. She said she needed
>it to make sure they weren't calling the same people twice.
>I said this is the first time I ansered the survey.
>Then she asked if my name was "(my surname)". She pronounced
>this wrongly, which no native English speaker would. I
>became anoyed and said "how did you get my name?". So I
>fell into their trap and confirmed my name. She said they
>were working from an older version of the electronic
>whitepages. Then she said "That's all" and ended the call.
>My number has not been listed in the Aust. White Pages for
>years. It was on one or more of the Australian commercial
>CD-ROMs which Telstra had banned, on the basis of copyright.
>But a recent court decision on this copyright was against
>There's probably no point reporting this call to
>www.donotcall.gov.au because it was not a telemarketing
>call. There's no sign of a real company with the name the
>callers gave. Theres no way of tracing the source of the
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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