How to stop spammers when they have your info
April 16, 2013 6:35 PM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago I got some phone calls and emails about a quote I submitted online for moving to some small town in central California. The only problem is I never filled out that form. Since they had my yahoo email, I figured they might have hacked my yahoo account somehow and got my phone number from there. I changed my password and removed my phone number from the account but it was too late. Today I got emails and phone calls about auto insurance quotes. The emails I can ignore and once I answer the phone and explain the situation, the agents remove me from their list but I don't know if I want to put up with this every few weeks. Has this ever happened to anyone else? and do I have any other recourse than changing my phone number?
posted by amapolaroja to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Best answer: This sounds less like spammers (who are usually trying to scam you or sell you something) and just someone screwing with you. The good news is that it probably took them more time to fill out the forms online than it did for you to say that it was some clown screwing with you.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:39 PM on April 16, 2013

Best answer: Yeah are you aware of anyone that has a grudge against you? This sounds a lot like someone trying to harass or annoy you by proxy.
posted by kavasa at 6:43 PM on April 16, 2013

Best answer: Whether you are aware of it or not, your name and phone number are likely in many places and on many lists that have been sold over and over to people like the ones calling you. The dealership where I got my car regularly sells its info and as such I get a lot of weird phone calls every now and then that are super perturbing. Have you recently supplied any other companies or businesses with your info?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:47 PM on April 16, 2013

Response by poster: I thought about that but I only use the Yahoo account for bill pay, so only my credit card companies, etc. would have the email and phone number together.

The only thing I signed up for right before I got the moving quotes was the second chance bracket on Yahoo for March Madness after my Metafilter bracket tanked. That is why I thought it was related to my Yahoo account.

This seems like someone filling out a form that then gets sent to a number of companies at once since the emails all arrived within minutes of each other.
posted by amapolaroja at 6:57 PM on April 16, 2013

Best answer: In my (thankfully limited) experience, when something like this happens it will be a burst of annoyance, and then it will basically be over. I wouldn't change your number.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:17 PM on April 16, 2013

Best answer: Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. It may take up to a month for all places to update their call lists, but most of them should stop.

In the meantime, you don't need to explain the whole story. As soon as you realize it's call-spam, ask to be placed on the company's do not call list, no reason needed.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:34 PM on April 16, 2013

Response by poster: Ank you all for your input. I was on Do Not Call before but does it expire? I'll sign up again.
posted by amapolaroja at 7:36 PM on April 16, 2013

Best answer: The do not call registry no longer expires, but it used to. However, companies are generally allowed to call you even if you're on the DNC list if you've requested that they do so. So while it's a great idea to put your number on the DNC list, it may not solve this particular problem, as (if these calls are legit) the companies think you requested information from them.
posted by devinemissk at 7:47 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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