The thread about SMS marketing prompted this question as in recent weeks I have received five lots of junk mail from charities - Salvos, Cancer Council (2), Guide Dogs and a hospital foundation.
Knowing for a fact that I had never subscribed to these charities in any way, I was quite surprised about the information contained in them about me and I rang each to inquire as to how they obtained my private information.
Only the hospital foundation agreed to assist and provided me with their broker's details. That's right, they purchased my information, along with yours probably, from a marketing broker. I called this broker and was told that I'd consented to having my information released. When I insisted of having them provide proof they baulked and I found myself saying words like Ombudsman and phrases like Privacy Act came flying out. The girl to whom I was speaking suddenly told me that my information may have come from my hospital file as they are routinely screened apparently.
Not happy, Jan.
Further investigation revealed that this was a possibility as were two other avenues - my bank and my electricity and phone service provider although the hospital where I birthed was adamant that files were closed. Thing is, I was able to gain access to it without providing any ID And if I knew your full name and birth date, I could probably gain access to yours too.
This is why I never give my real birth date to anyone other than the Department of Social Security and the Dept of Transport...and that's only because they demand proof but have a right to do so. Not sure how secure that'd be but hopefully a damn sight more secure than those listed above.
I have written to each charity, asked them for the source of their information regarding me, further requested that they remove me from their database, advised them that I did not give permission for my information to be used and that I will not support any charity that uses such means to gain support.
So far, only the hospital foundation has offered anything by way of apology and a quick deletion. The others have remained noticeably silent. And I, in turn, will never ever support these charities again.
I write this not to moan but to warn you that organisations will stoop to dirty tactics to try and get a foothold in your door. Don't let them. Your information is very valuable and should not be bandied about. It's not enough that they're a charity and they shouldn't be excused that they are. In fact, I find the fact that they are disgusting as they are, IMHO, abusing their position of trust in the community.
So just be aware and if you get sent stuff from people you don't know or don't remember giving your name, address and other details to, find out and then complain.
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Results 1 to 10 of 23
21-05-2013 20:07 #1
*spin off* How do you feel about charities buying your details?
21-05-2013 20:18 #2
I havent really got a problem with them purchasing my details, I don't see it as much different from them getting my phone number out of the phone book and ringing me.
I find it very difficult to believe they got your details from your medical file (did I read that correctly that that's what you thought they said?). I've worked in health care for over 10 years in big and small hospitals, public and private, and I honestly can't see how that could ever happen.
Usually they get your details from a competition you have entered, lay by in a store, online profile, other charity you have supported...
21-05-2013 20:35 #3-
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
It's a rort. An invasion of privacy. Charities that do this type of thing are a pain in the @rse and wont be getting my money.
- You've signed up for electricity, or had a procedure done. You haven't put your name in a phone book.
21-05-2013 21:08 #4
I agree, Vic. If I'd voluntarily filled out a form which asked me for permission to use my details for marketing as a lot do, then I would have no problem. But I don't fill out these forms and I don't subscribe and I don't enter competitions etc. And I don't see why we should be happy about people illegally accessing our private information.
And yes, having dealt with health organisations myself the release of sensitive information without authority does indeed happen although I have not been able to prove that my file has been accessed for that purpose. But I'm working on it.
Regarding the phone book, this does not list your date of birth or full name. And you can have yourself removed from it. So no, it's not the same.
I'll give you another example. I was asked to contact a debt collection agency on behalf of my neighbour as she was having difficulty understanding the demand she'd received. I was able to not only access her file, but was GIVEN her birth date, full name, address and the co-signee on her account.
I didn't ask for it. I merely rang up, quoted the ref number on the letter they'd sent and they proceeded to furnish me with everything an identity thief would savour.
Turns out they were not only giving private information to the wrong person (eg. me) but the person at whom they were directing their demand (my neighbour) was also the wrong person. And while I was on the phone I was able to learn that they had direct access to the utility provider's information systems and switched from their own system to the utility provider's system with the tap of a key.
Gosh, if I was a criminal I'd have a field day.
21-05-2013 21:16 #5
That's actually pretty scary.
21-05-2013 21:32 #6
I don't really care. I get spam and advertising from all sorts of places, I just delete/bin.
I'm not the type to get all paranoid about someone stealing my identity... Yeah it could happen, but so could a million other things.
The Following User Says Thank You to shelle65 For This Useful Post:
22-05-2013 01:21 #7-
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
with the salvos. If you have donated money at red shield time and then asked for a tax receipt the details you fill in are then ented on data base and then sometimes they send you donation requests in future (my husband and i used to work for them doing welfare) so its possible that thats how they were able to know your details.
i was thinking about this earlier tonight when i saw the thread and came to the conclusion that any charity that pays a broker for my personal information dont need my money, if they can afford my info they can afford to support themselves. Jst my opinion. We give to charity often and sponsor kids but we would discontinue our support if they were going to be dirty like the above scenario.
The Following User Says Thank You to MonkeySeeMonkeyDo For This Useful Post:
22-05-2013 04:46 #8-
- Join Date
- Jan 2013
I don't get mail but I get calls on my mobile for donations.
We're on the do not call register but charities are exempt.
22-05-2013 09:39 #9
Well the money they spend buying details could probably be used in a better way.
22-05-2013 11:13 #10
I was thinking about this last night after reading this thread and it dawned on me that some of them should probably do a little MORE homework/research before contacting people out of the blue. I got a long letter and donation request from Marie Stopes recently....I'm a practicing Catholic and usually only support humanitarian charities with a Christian philosophy!! MS got a lengthy, venty email from me about why they should be removing me from their contact list (which I'm sure just got immediately deleted but it made me feel better lol)
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