The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reader questions telephone 'political' survey

I received the following email from a Plainfield Today reader concerning a supposed telephone polling call that was received Tuesday evening --

Tonight I received a telephone call from an individual who called me by name and said he was taking a political survey for a legitimate survey company and was not selling anything and that my number would not be used to contact me about any product.  What he did not say was that the survey was anonymous but emphasized numerous times that there would only be political questions.

The first set of questions were demographic in nature and fairly general and then he asked about party affilition for people at "this address".  I then questioned him about whether he had my name and home address.  He fumbled around not wanting to answer and then said that he did not know who I was even though he had initially called me by name.  He also would not say if he had my address or not only that he had "a paper" that he worked off of.  I ended the interview. I would like to know if anyone else has had this type of a call and if anyone knows the origin of them. Usually a legitimate survery identifies their company by name and selects participants at random with the responses blended anonymously for statistical purposes.  You might want to give some thought to participating in a "survey" that knows your name and address and then can attach the information that you have provided about your political views directly to you. In any case, I would suggest that you question the questioner before providing any information.
While telephone surveys are a legitimate means of gathering information and are used by a variety of organizations, including businesses doing marketing research, academic surveys and political campaigns, you should have your wits about you at all times.

There are fake 'surveys' which are often hustling a product and there are scammers attempting to gather information (such as banking, financial, and Social Security) which can be used in identity theft.

For more about telephone surveys, see this eHow article (here) and a cautionary article from Scamwatch (here).

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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active citizen said...

It sounds like the person on this call had more information about the person called than they were willing to divulge. That is scary and you have to wonder who gave them the information and what shady political motive was behind it. I would want the call traced. Maybe there's some dirty politics going on here. It wouldn't be the first time in Plainfield. I hope people are careful when answering the phone and speaking to people they don't know.