The Matrix Is On Line Two

Last week in the process of renewing a business credit line, my bank checked my credit as a matter of course.

The next day, “Jeff” with “American Equity” or something along those lines left me a message. He was “verifying” a recent transaction and was calling “…to assure me that the terms of my loan were the best options available to me or to make sure that I was offered the best terms available in the marketplace”….or some other malarkey.

It was pretty convincing. It sounded like someone calling on behalf of my bank. It would have to be right? My bank wouldn’t inform any other entities of my business dealings with them…right?

So I called “Jeff” back. He was a bit surprised by my accusatory tone once he informed me that he had nothing to do with my bank and where he got the information.

It turns out Jeff’s company, which has absolutely nothing to do with my bank, subscribes to a service that alerts them to credit checks of highly qualified borrowers. Within 24 hours. Name, phone number and amount borrowed are all provided for a fee.Who provides this data you ask? Is it a form of identity theft?

It turns out Experian, one of the “Big Three” credit bureaus, provides this data to other lenders when you apply for credit. Apparently, they don’t have to inform you, and if I hadn’t received “Jeff’s” cold call, I would never have known that my name, phone number, credit score and transaction information are available to anyone willing to pay a fee for it.

Cross-Sell Triggers (sm)

Daily triggering tool for expanding customer relationships.

Cross-Sell TriggersSM, an event-based triggering tool, empowers you to deliver daily cross-sell and up-sell offers based on customer-initiated inquiries for new credit occurring within the last 24 hours.

Retain your most profitable customers

Cross-Sell Triggers allows you to respond immediately to retain customers who inquire about credit elsewhere.

Build loyalty and expand customer relationships

Respond to changing customer needs by making the right offer at the right time, thereby increasing your product-to-customer ratio.

That’s nice. I’d actually prefer a little privacy when I shop for credit.


I haven’t verified this yet but apparently you can call Experian and opt out. Gee, thanks for the consideration. Thanks for taking up my time to call you, presumably wait on hold, and take back my rights to privacy.


I guess I always considered the credit bureaus to be in the business of tracking and evaluating potential credit consumers. I also assumed that my credit information was not accessible without my consent.

Wrong on both counts.

Word to the wise.

17 thoughts on “The Matrix Is On Line Two

  1. I received a few of these scam calls after I got a new car a few months back — they were from “my auto loan dealer” who warned me I was about to lose out on better rates – and they would leave me numbers that I knew were not from the Ford people. I get them often in the mail as well.

    Those who peddle Credit Card and Loan offers over the phone or mail are bottomfeeders as much as I can tell. Let them all fail.

  2. “” from “my auto loan dealer” who warned me I was about to lose out on better rates “”

    I have gotten a few, as recently as last night. The same ‘LAST CHANCE FOR A LOWER INTEREST RATE” scamoloa. I just assumed that Chase, who holds my new Auto Loan sold my name. Now it may just as well be the Bureau.



  3. Well, that’s a little more evil than these despicable “zedo” pop-ups that accompany clicks on your site.

    I really hope you’re making money, ’cause they are annoying. Fortunately, I block most of them.

  4. I get ’em too, but the weird thing is I haven’t done any major financial transactions in the past few years. If you pay your bills on time all manner of people want you as a customer.

  5. “”If you pay your bills on time all manner of people want you as a customer. “‘

    Maybe true, I am just afraid if I stop paying, I’ll get a whole different set of phone calls. I think I’ll deal with the ones I get now *laughing*

    Besides, I’ve worked awfully hard to get were I am at so I can complain about failed Republican policies and Right Wing corporate Greed *grin*

  6. Maybe true, I am just afraid if I stop paying, I’ll get a whole different set of phone calls. I think I’ll deal with the ones I get now *laughing*

    True. No matter what, someone’s gonna give you a call. And laughing is the right approach, good sir.

  7. flash, “failed Republican policies” sounds an awful lot like a talking point. Not really defending Republicans on this point, but more the word “policies”. Using a very elastic definition of that word?

    The “Right Wing corporate Greed” is funny. I’m sure you leave the complaining about “Left Wing corporate Greed” to others. 🙂

  8. I learned what you did (Roosh) when we applied for a refi a couple of years ago. We decided not to even take the deal we applied for and yet we were deluged with cold calls from autodialers and real human beings for months afterward. You are right, it’s damn creepy but between the credit bureaus and lenders’ “partnerships” (i.e. they can sell your name, if you apply) they can get exceptions from the telemarketer and privacy law restrictions.

    Don’t even get me started on the autodialers who call us to extend our car’s warranty. A car that we traded in last summer. On that, I wish the matrix had more up to date information at least.

  9. My family gets a bunch of those…huh….it’s awful fun telling them that (since my mortgage is paid off) they’re going to have a difficult time getting me into a lower mortgage payment than I’ve currently got. Nobody has even offered to try…at least after I explain.

  10. I laugh at my mortgage company when they call and try to get me to talk to a “loan counselor” who promises to get me a better rate. 4.875%? Right…

    But I’ve got a better way to deal with these annoying telemarketers, even from these dorks who work around the business affiliation exception. You know that according to the FTC “Telemarketing to cell phone numbers has always been illegal in most cases and will continue to be so.” And it’s illegal for them to use autodialers to cell phones, too, even if they’re allowed to call you, which is a secondary block on them.

    It turns out that T-Mobile has one heck of a deal on home phone service if you’re a customer. Stump up for a custom Linksys 802.11g router ($50) and you can use VOIP to get full service phone (unlimited local & long distance, conference calling, voice mail, etc) for $10/month. You can keep your old home phones and wiring (if you can operate a screwdriver and wire cutters) and even your own phone number if you want.

    Why didn’t I keep the old number? Because my new number is a cell phone number. Complete with SIM card that I can pull out of the router and put in a cell phone. But now, if those telemarketers get my number they have to think twice about calling since it’s in a cell phone number block, and if they do call I tell them they’ve called a cell phone and if I ever hear from them again I’m reporting them to the FTC. They never do call back.

  11. Bubba, I have similar fun when I state :

    “Can ya beat 4 3/8 on a 15 year)

    They usually hang up on me before I have a chance to tell them to remove me form the list. The True professional offer me a congratulations and actauly say “we’ll just remove you from this list” Yes, it has happened, there are some good hearted Telemarketers out there.

    Which is what the REAL annoying part is about those Bot calls, no way to request to be removed. And if they give you the Press one to be removed, I am reluctant, like replaying to Spam Mail, to just tell them I am a human and they have a good number on their list.

  12. Of course they market cross-sell triggers! That’s their intellectual property. Is it ethical? Probably not. Is it illegal? – no! Mitch, you have got to learn how to rein in your outrage. They’re not vultures – they’re jackals. The difference is that the vultures wait until you’re dead. If you want the jackals out of the marketplace, then you have to learn to live without consuming anything. Look at the upside – you’re credit worthy. Now, when they call do just as you did – make them real uncomfortable. It’s an art to do it without letting on that you know more than they do.

  13. Mitch, you have got to learn how to rein in your outrage.

    Yah, Mitch. Whew! Reel it in a bit fella!

    I think it was the use of the word Scumbags. Twice.

  14. Telemarketer answer: “So… what are you wearing?”

    No. No. No.


    “I’m naked.”

    “So… what are you wearing?”

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