Junk E-mails, Telemarketing, Banks!

Recently I have been receiving emails from stores I have shopped in even though I have not given any of my contact details to these stores or joined their waste of time loyalty schemes. Lately I’m also getting calls from unknown companies soliciting for business. The only company that have access to my shopping habits and personal contact info is my bank. Could they be passing on my contact details to other companies?

Anyone know?


Read their specific privacy policy, but yes they could, can, and do sell information. Even Veda, the credit bureau, apparently harvests (harvested?) and sells personal data, as has been reported.

This is old news and maybe no longer relevant, but many companies will do whatever they think they can get away with to make another dollar.

Westpac’s privacy policies are probably typical. The more interesting points are “Who do we disclosure your personal information to and why?” and “Do we use or disclose personal information for marketing?”

1 Like

I am on the Do Not Call Register (DNCR), but still get regular calls from charities and survey conductors.

I can understand the latter because statistics, but I keep telling charities that regardless of their exemption (along with politicians) they should consider why people choose to be on the DNCR. I didn’t join it just because I hate being hassled by companies; I signed up for the DNCR so everyone stops assuming that they can walk into my home, without even wiping their feet on the front doormat, and start gabbing at me about their interests with no regard for what I might be doing at that time. While I loathe the racism and xenophobia that brought it to national standing, I do think that the Howard principle should apply to my own abode: I will decide who comes into my home, and the circumstances in which they come.

Microsoft and Telstra do still ring up to say that our Internet is broken, and I have received a few calls from the ATO to state that the police have a warrant for my arrest, but by and large the DNCR has stopped companies from invading my personal castle.

Now I just have to teach the postie to read - or at least to read the signs on both sides of my letter box that direct ‘No Junk Mail’.

As for emails… they are an unending nightmare that will take decades to fix!

I also hope to spend some quality time with the Privacy Act 1988 in the near future, if I can find said time - I suspect that companies like Veda are very much in breach of it and need desperately to be brought to heel.

Perhaps Choice might spend some time looking at ways we can protect ourselves from the constant privations of these privacy invaders?


Some local City Councils were the" club house leader " about 5 years ago for passing on private detail lists concerning their rate payers.( I presume they were selling them ) . Banks were mentioned as well . "It’s your money Ralph " but not your privacy .


You can buy Rate Payer DVDs (lists). Real Estate Agents use them to get the details of the home owner for contact purposes. This is public data and as such is available for a cost from, normally, State Govt Title offices. You can also go and search at the Titles office yourselves but this is more long winded and it still costs to do the retrieval (search to find the deed etc is normally free).


Personally, I’m always cautious of anyone trying to call me. It’s very difficult to know which calls are genuine and it opens the door to potentially being scammed if you offer any personal information to said callers (not to mention the calls are unwanted in the first place).


Interesting that you say that. I have stopped answering my mobile by stating my name. The purpose was ‘sounds business-like’, but the risk simply became too great.


It’s an unfortunate state of affairs, but you can’t be too careful when it comes to these things these days in my opinion.


I have our home phone on Do Not Disturb permanently. The callers can leave a voice message if they are friends or genuine. I check by dial-back if the missed calls are genuine (eg on our N&AB) or “… advises that the number you’ve called is incomplete, incorrect, no longer active or connected”. I’ve noticed the usual nagging spam/con artists calls have dropped.


You have my full sympathy, but here’s a useful tip. Ask (politely!) whoever cold calls you to tell you who has supplied your phone number. Then phone the company supplying the information and explain you do not wish to receive any more calls. As a result, I now get far fewer cold calls. It’s worth the effort, believe me!

1 Like

Thank you for this advice, @moviemedia4. I had the opportunity to try it today, with someone who wanted to sell me solar panels. Unfortunately, the result was not all one might hope:

I get my numbers from many places. The internet; phone listings…" [clunk]

Maybe I need to be a little nicer - it just doesn’t come naturally to me :confused:.

You thought you were safe from intrusion on your mobile phone, unlike your home phone! In a recent national campaign I received an unsolicited text message from an undisclosed “no-reply” number soliciting my ‘vote’. After tracking them down on the internet I asked them, by email, who had given them my mobile phone number, and to please delete it from their records.

They replied: “Please be assured that no privacy or anti-spam laws were breached in sending this message. The messages were sent by a method of randomly generating possible mobile numbers. You received a text as your number was generated through this automated process”. They didn’t say what company they contracted to do this. So, beware the random number generator sending advertising.

Oops, now they have my email address - I forgot to tell them to delete that too after they send their reply!

1 Like

I use caller ID on my phone. If it is not a known number, I let it go the the answering machine.

I’m pretty sure Telstra passed on my info to a bank. Reason I’m pinning Telstra is they spelt my name incorrectly when I changed the account to myself after my partner died. I received an offer from a bank I had never had an account with and my name was spelled. the same as telstra . When I queried this with Telstra they referred me to their policy which pretty much says they can pass on your info to 3rd parties.


Yep, you have to be careful not to hand more information out when trying to stop people from using what they have!

As for the “No laws have been breached”, that’s not the point - no laws are being breached by your direction (i.e. be forceful) that they remove your number from their records.

It reads like it, it smells like it. Random generation BS! Even in a national campaign, nothing will be wasted on randomness unless it’s a survey. I would bet that you were chosen from a list. Not as an individual, but your number wasn’t ‘randomly generated’.

1 Like

I’d be happy to have my Choice subscription put towards exposing how this “random generator” works so we can shut it down. My life is random enough without random unsolicited interference.


It’s a random number generator that only generates mobile phone numbers that are registered and in use. Very clever stuff, really - being able to generate a random ten digit number that also happens to fit those criteria.

And that is why I call BS. Even assuming the first four digits are set, randomly generating the final six is going to result in a lot of wasted effort due to numbers not being registered, paid up, in use etc.

1 Like

Two years ago if this number was dialled 1800 857 275 you were advised that you were phoning Telstra . The usual protocol with this " Telstra " was to phone you in the evenings . Generally Telstra do not phone you out of normal business hours .

The , we will call them the "evening call Telstra " would offer to streamline your phone and internet bills to save you unwarranted financial outlay and had all your account numbers in front of them on screen . Offers to upgrade plans , throw in a free tablet ,. portable wi fi etc . Trouble is documentation started to arrive at peoples homes " Welcome to Telstra " Your Plan made easy " . Hang on you were already with Telstra . Something wrong here .

A friend approached me who had just received a mammoth Bill after having his accounts "streamlined " for cost by " evening Telstra " I phoned the aforementioned number and asked at least 4 times was this Telstra , I was given the affirmative , I phoned in the evening out of Telstra’s business hours . This is getting long winded , sorry . I played along with them as a potential customer . They had all my details etc except I had a password I had set up with Telstra and they could not provide it .

I phoned an old Uni friend who heads up an overseas call centre and was told she spends %80 of her shift time straightening out the mess "evening Telstra " gets people in . She lodged a complaint for me . A friend of mines wife is high up up in Telstra management and I advised her of the issue and the out of pocket expenses to customers .
Out come . The company was actually a " Contracted Licensed onseller of Telstra products called TSA Telco Group. From our complaints they now answer the phone and advise you of this . They also , on occasion, provide a link to the DNCR and an opt out link . This came about after our complaints .

My problem is this . If they loose the Telstra contract as a licensed on seller of Telstra’s products what happens to the records they have of my account numbers and details of all the other Telstra customers they have dealt with .

I know some of them read this forum . Just a quick thank you to the Telstra staff who followed thru on this for me and others and put matters right . Everyone I knew that was overcharged by TSA had their money refunded by Telstra .


My advice would be to trick them. Firstly express your extreme interest in whatever is being promoted, then, making it a condition of proceeding further, ask for the information. Worth a try.

@postulative Unfortunately, the number generation and the call placement is done by machine. Only numbers that answer the call are then routed to a human on their end. The call centre won’t see that as wasted effort by the machine. :persevere: