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Scam artists get names from public records

Aug. 28, 2010 at 3:28 a.m.


By Alan Bligh

I answered a call the other day from a woman who had received a sweepstakes letter announcing she had just won a Spanish sweepstakes to the tune of $950,000. She knew immediately it was a scam, but it prompted a question that we are asked a million times: "How did I get on their mailing list?" If you own property, it's public information. If you're listed in a telephone directory, your name and address are there for the taking. If - just for fun - you entered a raffle or filled out one of those "win a free vacation" forms, chances are your contact information was sold to others.

Have you responded to other phony sweepstakes scams? If so, be prepared to get sweepstakes offers, magical healing product offers and free grant offers for a long time.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at abligh@corpuschristi. bbb.org.

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