Monday, March 22, 2010

Credit Card Number? Who's Asking?

Several states, if not the majority use prisoners to field phone calls requesting tourist information and at least Arizona, if not others have used to have active prisoners answer other types of call. I don't know the extent that Arizona still uses the resource, but a few years ago, I needed a record and a recording told me that they couldn't take credit card numbers over the phone for this reason.

An investigation by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published Sunday, discovered that a local call center has been using convicted felons to solicit charitable donations in violation of Pennsylvania law. Granted, the felons have served their sentence, but they were given names, addresses and amounts of previous donations to call those who had previously donated to the company's clients in 38 states.

Also of interest is that Outreach Associates, doing business as Direct Advantage Marketing is a subsidiary of Integrated Fundraising and Marketing Solutions, headquartered in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts law doesn't preclude criminals from working for a charitable solicitor, but they do require that this information be disclosed to the state and the person who completed the registration form in both states, Chief Compliance Officer Howard B. Cloth has a previous conviction for embezzling $393,000 from his law firm's clients.

Between the halfway house-type program ending their relationship with the company because they didn't feel comfortable letting their charges have access to so much personal info, and the revelation that Federal probationers aren't allowed to work at Outreach because it'd mean consorting with known criminals, the Post-Gazette has put together a good argument for knowing who's on the other end of the phone.
Sphere: Related Content
blog comments powered by Disqus