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For sale: your phone number

For sale: your phone number

SMS spam is annoying and useless. Telecom providers deny giving out personal details to advertising companies. So how do telemarketers get your information?


December 21, 2008 1:47 by

Waking you up in the middle of the night, distracting you during an important meeting and irritating you generally …most people in Dubai will agree, SMS spam is one of mobile phone’s greatest disadvantages. Though Etisalat and Du have given several reassurances that they do not give out numbers to third parties, we are constantly attacked by spam (many times from the two providers themselves).

Which is why when we came across the listing below on Dubizzle, we were amused:

Name Lists Wanted

Budget: AED 5,000

Dubai Telemarketing Company needs business leads and will pay for lists of Western (including S. African) expatriates in Dubai. Lists do not have to be exclusively Western, but only the Western names have value to us. Typical sources of data are:

• Employee Lists
• Customer Lists
• Prospect Lists
Data required is:
• First and last name
• Email address
• Mobile number
• Landline if available

100% confidentiality is guaranteed. Payment is negotiable and will depend on data quality and business potential.

Now, several small companies could be easily tempted to make use of that ad. And at the end of the day, employees will hardly be able to find out how the spammer ever got hold of their numbers.

But the openness of the offer is what is more surprising. That any company is willing to ask for such information publicly only shows that there is no regulation against giving out your details to companies. What is even more disconcerting is that there are companies out there that are willing to sell your information.


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1 Comment

  1. Alison on December 22, 2008 10:12 am

    Have they not heard of the Data Protection Law (2007) or maybe they just don’t care.


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