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SYNACK
Just Firewall It
Premium,Mod
join:2001-03-05
Venice, CA

"Welcome to the neighborhood"?

Over the last few days, I have received several personal mailings, big envelopes, each with form letters or tag lines "Welcome to the neighborhood", as if I just moved here. Most with coupons for 15-20% off local businesses (pottery barn, etc.). They are not the regular run-of-the-mill advertisements.

I remember these kinds of mailings from 15+ years ago right after we bought the house, so why are they starting again, out of the blue??

Of course I was immediately suspicious about all this, and wanted to make sure that there is nothing fishy here (ID theft, covert property transaction, etc.).

I just checked my credit report and everything looks fine.

At this point it seems that most likely somebody is maybe selling padded address lists to businesses, or something else not involving me.

Is there anything else I should look out for? Thanks!


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
said by SYNACK:

At this point it seems that most likely somebody is maybe selling padded address lists to businesses, or something else not involving me.

I'd run with that.
Mass mailing companies will offer to show a client a USPS proof of mailing certificate which shows how many pieces were mailed.
If an an advertiser promised to mail 1000 pieces to new neighbors on or by a certain date & they only have 900 target addresses they can do an end run by including 100 pieces that don't actually fit the new neighbor profile.
The USPS will only certify how many pieces were mailed - not where or to whom they were mailed.

A sharp business person would withhold all or part of the payment to the mass mailing company until they get the USPS certification of mailing.
Much of that would depend on the mailing companies history, length of time in business.etc...

I'd just follow the money & go to the advertisers asking who they had paid to distribute the coupons (as well as mention that you are not a 'new neighbor').
That alone would remove any concern about being personally targeted, provided the advertisers are indeed aware of the coupons etc...

Companies that offer these types of services are notorious for skirting the contract details.


Lizz
Premium
join:2002-10-22
Fullerton, CA
reply to SYNACK
I've lived here for 14 years, but I got those types of mailings when I switched to Uverse voice from POTS. I think AT&T reports that as a new phone number, although my phone number did NOT change.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless
That makes sense.
"New" phone numbers have always been a prized commodity to advertisers.
With the ease of reverse phone lookups matching a list of phone numbers to a name/address is easy enough.

Going back a number of years ago, newly installed phone numbers weren't released as public info, getting them needed the help of an insider.
Maybe that's changed over the years?


SYNACK
Just Firewall It
Premium,Mod
join:2001-03-05
Venice, CA
reply to Lizz
Yes, but I did not have any such changes in recent history. Nothing has changed in years.


carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO
reply to SYNACK
Do you have an HOA or neighborhood watch?


SYNACK
Just Firewall It
Premium,Mod
join:2001-03-05
Venice, CA
no


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
reply to SYNACK
Have you recently pulled a building permit?
Enrolled a child in a new school?
Sign up for new rewards card?
I ask because if it wasn't a mailing list being populated with non-compliant data something triggered your inclusion.