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How Did These Debt Relief Marketers Get My Information?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Hey Steve,

Just saw your page here and wanted to ask you a question about a similar problem I’ve been having.

Since I got a high limit credit card, I notice that periodically I’ll receive letters like this with NO company name or address, yet with all my personal details (first name, last name, ball-park debt amount, and address).

The last letter I received was today. Just a few weeks after I moved across the country.

HOW ARE THESE COMPANIES FINDING ME?

That is what I want to know.

I don’t have a lot of debt (although I have a high limit card). I have less than $1000 in total debt.

I want to know how my NEW address accessed by these guys. It seems fishy. They aren’t operating in the light of day, they are in the shadows.

So I called the number on the sheet to get more answers. The man was really shifty but finally gave me the company name as “ENROLLMENT SERVICES LLC” operating out of OH.

I asked him where they got my address. And he said he did not know but that they get reports sent to them periodically and that these reports are PUBLIC knowledge.

I called my credit card company and they said they don’t make ANY of my information public.

My next idea was to call the credit bureaus EQUIFAX, etc, but they have no way to speak to a HUMAN BEING (big surprise there).

I want to know HOW these companies are getting my address. Not that I have anything to hide. But I definitely don’t want these fraudsters getting ahold of my home address.

Any info you can provide will help.

PS.

1) It’s not a credit card company. And I’ve already OPTED OUT from credit card solicitations years ago.

2) I checked with the secretary of state of Ohio, and theres no company called ENROLLMENT SERVICES LLC.

Thanks
Eric

Answer:

Dear Eric,

READ  Another Debt Relief Mailer to Watch For

Typically the information comes from one or more credit bureaus. I would suggest you look at each of your major credit bureau reports and see which one(s) are reporting the card. Then contact those bureaus that list the credit card account and see if they can tell you if they have sold any marketing lists that would have included you.

Debt relief companies have been sued for obtaining lists of people without a permissible purpose for pulling such information. Some data brokers have been known to use false pretenses to pull credit bureau information and then use it for marketing.

This is especially true if the letter you receive appears to identify information about the type and/or balances of your debt. This would be an indication that your information was pulled somehow from a credit bureau recently.

Now that your name is out there on a list, I would expect you to get more similar letters. It’s not uncommon for the same direct mail company to send multiple letters on behalf of different companies using the same data.

It’s hard to point the blame at the credit bureaus in this situation since it is generally someone lying to pull information and misleading the credit bureaus.

Mailing lists and prospecting lists are available online from credit bureaus, like Experian. Click here for more information on this.

And you are correct, there is no company named “Enrollment Services” who is registered to do business in Ohio.

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But in my experience, telemarketing companies and lead generators use very generic names that really don’t identify anyone in particular. A generic name is typically a big red flar for me because it makes it next to impossible for a consumer to check out the company.

I would recommend that anyone considering using such a company should read the following free guides.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
  3. How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off
READ  Another Debt Relief Mailer to Watch For

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.





About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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