CHOICE membership

Insurance scam

This is the second time I’ve hads a phone call from an insurance company claiming that I filled in an enquiry form asking for information about life insurance. I’ve never filled in any such form.

I have no doubt that this is a scam intended to get around the Do Not Call register, which allows companies to contact people if they’ve made an enquiry. If the company actually has such a form purporting to be from me (so that, in the event of a complaint, they can provide “proof”) it would have been filled in by an employee whose job is to forge such forms.

Am I alone?

If not, this could be a worthwhile investigation for the ACA.

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Fred, do you recall going through one of those online “competitions” that offer a trip overseas or a car etc? A lot of quite reputable companies bring them up at the end of an online process.

I hate them and they verge on deceptive advertising as they ask you the same questions repeatedly such as “Do you want to hear about XXX insurance”. It is very easy to click on the “yes” radio button without realising.

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No, I avoid those scams like the very plague - for the reasons you so rightly express.

Of course there’s nothing to stop malicious “friends” from filling them in on our behalf, but I doubt it’s that.

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We had the same thing happen with an energy company. We’re on the Do Not Call register but the call centre operator (a young Englishwoman) insisted my partner had requested a call. She had his full name, address, landline and mobile numbers AND his date of birth. Neither of us enter online surveys or competitions because of the spam it generates, and we had only just renewed our contract with our current provider. We have had previous problems with this company, with their overseas call centre operators calling five times a day at one stage. At that time I spoke to their head office in Sydney, demanded our number be placed on their own Do Not Call list (I threatened a very public harassment suit) and the calls stopped - for a time anyway.

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@richardwarland, I’ve noticed these too. From memory it was after purchasing some tickets online

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Ping @XavierOHalloran and @ErinTurner: this is your wheelhouse.

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Ebay offers a free entry into online competition too and in my view they are harvesting the contact info for a third party.

This sounds similar to some reported cases of Optus and Telstra automatically sharing mobile numbers with ‘third party content’ providers.

It might be worth following up with your telco to see if they’ve got a business relationship with the company that is calling you. It’s a very murky practice hidden away in the fine print. You usually have to opt out of receiving these services. If you are not happy with your telcos response raise it with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

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Absolutely - but not one third party. ANY of the businesses whose button you click “yes” on will take it as an enquiry giving them the right to call and email you…

Yes it appears on many websites. The operators will be paying a commission to the website owner and I suspect that most CEOs don’t even know that their marketing people are allowing it. There may be a short term gain for the web team but ultimately it will hurt the company’s brand!

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Well said @richardwarland

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Also if you have a credit card some Banks/Financial Institutions offer your details to “select” third party providers of items that may be of “interest” to you unless you specifically opt out of this marketing. This can certainly add to your undesired contacts.

So much for the “Do not call” register…

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Personally, I have found the DNC register pretty effective. I no longer have a landline as I don’t find it necessary, and they don’t seem to use auto-dialling to mobile numbers.

I’m thinking of ditching my landline (which really isn’t - it’s VOIP). It’s probably just habit to keep it.

I have a landline conncted to an answering machine. People I know will always leave a message.
My friends know my mobile is the way to contact me.
Cold callers NEVER leave a message.
So, the ring tone on the machine is set at mute and I check it occassionaly for a message (flashing light).

DNC will never be a sucess - there too many ways to work around it. It will only work when we wise up and stop answering.

When they start talking, interrupt & tell them that you are taping the conversation. They immediately hang up.

They don’t stop ringing. I have one phone for them. But now I change the last digit of my number to put em off.

Haven’t had this experience myself but several of my friends have had the same sort of call, allegedly after an enquiry. Same as you they have never made an enquiry, and have no intention of taking out life insurance.

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Yes and you don’t even press on them and they start ringing. Don’t put your real phone
number in. I never put my real date of birth either. That way they cannot get to your other accounts.