Its not all about money

I remember receiving a promotional text message on my cell from NAB, somewhere in Dec 2007. It was Anti Corruption Day, I think. The sender showed a name “NAB”, and the message preview in my cell was only able to show two words “Corruption You …”. I, like anybody else, got a bit amazed on receiving a text message from NAB starting with the word “Corruption” :) Anyway, I went on to read the message, and it was something on the lines of, “Corruption, your NO counts … “. I was like, “Where did these NAB guys got my number from?” with no obvious answer.

Then it was Jan 2008 when I received a promotional text message from Bonanza, telling that SALE on Bonanza Sweaters was on, and I should not miss this opportunity etc. This time it was from some Warid number.

And a couple of days back it was some web portal using GEO in their name (and they were not GEO TV), advertising their website, right on my cell.

I was wondering that how come such spammers get my, or anybody’s for that matter, cell number. It can’t be easy- load guys, as I don’t remember any such instance when I did easy-load on this number. The first thing that struck my mind was “banks”.

I have been giving my number to banks in account/credit card applications. And I believe they would have plenty of these. Reason for this first hit was that sometime back I received a call from some bank’s sales-rep and he was kind enough to tell me my exact gross salary. I was like WHAT??? How come you know it? To which he was a little puzzled. “We have sources”, he said. And on a bit of bullshitting he disclosed that banks share such information. The next thing was the franchise I purchased this number from. They might have sold the numbers’ list to these guys. And I continued thinking who the real culprit can be?

However, whoever that was, does business ethics allow such things? Can a bank, or any business for that matter, disclose its customers’ confidential information and make money out of it? How shameful a mean to make money from. I don’t know why but somehow we have kept the ethics and moral values aside. We want to make money; whatever it takes. From smaller businesses to larger businesses, all alike, in the same direction. We have stopped realizing that, although money is an important factor in an individual’s day-to-day matters, but its not all about it. There are things much more valuable and worth exhausting all our means for.

O my Lord! Help my people.

5 Comments so far

  1. Saadat (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2008 @ 8:00 am

    While your concerns about businesses guarding their customers’/clients’ personal information are very much relevant, I do believe that most spammers (specifically like the ones spamming their web portal) use a brute forced, hit-and-trial based spam method. All they need is a script which generates a series of numbers rapidly and then sends their spamming messages on the generated numbers. I myself have received spam for "airline steward courses" and "modeling agencies", and the first look on those prestigious companies’ messages would tell anyone that the nerds sending such spam don’t even know that it’s prestigious, and not pristigeous.

    However, as I said in the beginning, the kind of information selling that you are talking about does occur. My elder brother had a similar encounter with some lady who knew everything about his salary and the nature of his work in highly spooky details. She even challenged my brother that he would not be able to find out what the source of all that information was. She was right.

    Anyway, I guess that’s enough for a rant. Now show me the money!

  2. go figure (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

    its a simple case of data mining. In this case, personal details are bought in a good lump sum from anyone who needs the money. The more emails mobile numbers you have with you, the more money you will be paid by the spammers. These personal details are extracted from bogus job listings on job sites, bank details which are not properly disposed and even your number being sold by mobile connection companies for a hefty price. The spammers dont care if you’re a man woman or something in between. All they care about is their message getting through!

  3. mansoor (kar_mansoor) on March 4th, 2008 @ 12:17 am

    by the way, unless you are getting the sms’s by name, its a simple case of sms’ing all numbers of a particular network :p

    given the cheapness of sms’s, its not really a problem now :p

  4. riaz on March 6th, 2008 @ 5:46 am

    i had the same experience with banks selling credit cards and these promotional sms’s while i was in pakistan.Once on my insistence, the bank guy told me that the HR dept of my company had sold this data to them.Thats why they knew exactly abt all my previous postings,current desig, posting, salary break up etc.
    The thing abt sms is pretty simple. i once received an email from some one advertising a software that automatically generates sms and sends them to unknown ppl.

  5. shaibee (shoaibanjum) on March 6th, 2008 @ 10:19 am

    Now this HR thingie is pathetically ridiculous.

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