Vetting vendors via VoIP

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"Agent Smart here. How'd you get this number?"

Credit: Wikipedia

Who among us hasn’t set up a new and unique email account for a particular commercial transaction just so we’ll know who to blame when the account gets flooded with spam? Well, a member of Reddit’s community devoted to systems administration (r/sysadmin) says he took the tactic a step further … actually, 12 steps further.

From a post headlined: “How to get blacklisted as a vendor.”

Yesterday I was hunting for a new vendor. Mostly out of curiosity (but also to help me in picking a company that's not completely sleazy) I set up a batch of temporary phone numbers in our VoIP system, 12 in all, and called each vendor from a different number.

Less than 24 hours later, seven of those 12 numbers are already getting cold marketing calls from various companies, asking for me by name and title - 37 calls in all, with one of the seven lines clocking in at impressive 15 calls. Well, here's a hint - if you're in so much hurry to make a penny by selling my contact info, you won't make any money by selling me your goods and services.

The post garnered more than 300 comments, with a number urging the fellow to “name and shame.”  Fortunately for the vendors, his employer advised against doing so.

But let this be a lesson to the guilty nonetheless.

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