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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Letter from a Reader: Are Credit Card Companies Allowed to Share Our Personal Information?

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Dear Fashion PULIS,

I am an avid and loyal follower of your blog! I know that many of your readers are credit card holders and they will be able to relate with this story.

Recently, I have been receiving SMS messages from anonymous numbers offering personal loans, cash loans and the likes from different banks. The messages have been very frequent so one time, I replied to this particular message:

From mobile number: +639266110833
Attention! Need CASH? Personal Load up to P2m for as LOW as1.3%/mo. For FAST & EAST Approval, ACT NOW. Message me. Adrian.

I was so fed up from receiving these kinds of messages so I send this message "Will you just stop texting me with those offers?" After sending this message, Adrian replied and said "I'm sorry Joseph Bolos. Rest assured you are monitored." After a few minutes, he also texted me my exact home address.

I was very shocked as to why he knows my complete name and my exact home address. Then I realized that he must have gotten these pieces of information from my credit card company. So I called my credit card company and told the customer service guy that there is a loan agent from another credit card company that is harassing me. He told me that the agent might have secured my personal information from the database of the other credit card company.

I understand that there is a database for the reference of the different credit card companies but why do these companies share these pieces of information with the loan agents without our permission? It truly bothers me that these people are sharing my personal information for their marketing purposes without my consent! Fellow Fashion PULIS readers, is there anything we can do about this?

Yours truly,
Joseph Bolos


  1. From what I know, credit card companies don't exactly "share" these info -- they sell it. That's how other credit card companies know if the person has bad credit history and subsequently accept or decline the person's application. Better check the fine print of your application form if it says they have the right to share your info. If it does and you signed it, there's not really much you can do about it except ignore the texts.

  2. You can try sending a letter to DTI or whatever org. that regulates banks/credit card to complain about your credit card company.

  3. I have been receiving messages of that sort too. I just ignored it but what frightens me now after reading your post is that what he told you "Rest assured you are monitored". This could mean he knows all our transactions and even our whereabouts. I know that Credit card companies commissioned call centers to answer to our inquiries and other related concerns with this not just one or two agents can access our information which is not safe for us.

  4. I've been getting a bunch of texts like that as well! It's so annoying.

    I'd like to share something I heard from the radio, off-topic but related to credit cards. Do you know this segment Industry Secrets? I heard that the bank personnel that handles credit card accounts would use existing accounts of their clients to test some transactions. Kumbaga our credit cards would be their "test dummies" for their programs/softwares.

  5. i also get a lot of campaign messages from sun subscribers - from loan, credit cards, insurances, etc. When i complained to them, they can't even send a text to warn the texter. Hmmm mukang dapat na walang magkaroon ng law about data protection of customers. mahirap yung ganyan...uso pa naman ang identity theft ngaun

  6. Yes, I've also received such text messages. And what's worse, these telemarketers even call me up at my cellphones and residence land line!

    The worst experience I had was when I politely declined this female telemarketer on her sales pitch of a certain insurance service as I was already paying for three life plans. What do you know, I later discovered that she nevertheless enrolled me and I later found out the charge to my credit card account without my knowledge and authorization. Can anyone beat that?

    I brought up a dispute with my credit card issuing bank and the insurance company itself. It's in the process of reversing the charges in my next statement aside from conducting further 'investigation.' By the way, the bank and the insurance company belong to the same group of companies. Does anyone smell a rat here?

  7. GRABE! I also receive messages like that. I don't own a credit card though. However, I order online (eg. MULTIPLY, pay via G-CASH) and exchange details with the sellers.

    Mukhang lumiliit talaga ang mundo

  8. I get offers like this myself. Any tips?


  9. The response to you Joseph was a clear poor customer service. The credit card huy should have reassured you with the security and confidentiality of your info with them.Although om your staments.."He told me that the agent might have secured my personal information from the database that the credit card company",MIGHT only means that even he himself is not certain of the source of your info acquisition. You better recall,did you fill out any form, or any application to any other companies? banks,..etc? Well, as far as I know, these texters are able to get info of people who submitted loan application specially to the not so known banks. Some info sheets leak because of internal agreements, referral, specially cases like declined or turned down applications..and it MIGHT have been posted that you are in need and currently applying for a loan, ao they are like "piranhas" who grabs your info...just logically thinking :)ANNonymous

  10. Yes they do, and that's scary.

    I get those texts all the time especially when i havent paid my bills yet. (hmm do they also check my balance)


    in the hi-tech world these days.. it's so hard to remain private. :(


  11. Are you using a postpaid number? I don't think it has something to do with credit card companies. Oftentimes, database are always being sold, with all the complete details of the subscriber. Telcos are to be blamed on this.

  12. Not surprising. I had the same experience only to find out the loan agent works for the sister company / affiliate of the credit card company. And even if I requested them to stop, to remove my name from their list because I was not interested in the loan, I kept receiving offers.

    I dumped the card. Transferred to another credit card company. It's their loss not mine.

  13. I can soooooooooo relate to this. I have 7 credit cards and at least once a week, I receive text messages from numbers I do not know offering me loans etc. so irritating.

  14. use another number and text the said number again, posing as a customer and you want to avail of of his services. meet the person tapos ipahuli mo and demanda mo. dont erase his fisrt msg para may proof ka na threat ka nya. or better meet him then pasundan mo sa private detective, tapos sya ang harrasin mo and takutin mo.

  15. @ JB
    ang taray naman kasi ng response mo e. i also am receiving the same sms messages pero deadma lang, titigil din yon kapag nagsawa na. reaction mo naman kasi parang iritadong beki na artista ka lang - ang importante, hindi nya ginagamit ang credit card mo for illegal purchases ng hindi mo nalalaman

  16. kaya never ako nagrereply sa texts nila,i usually get around 3-4 texts a day about cash loans,winning in a promo,loosing/gaining weight,etc... to think i dont have a credit card ha.i only got a landline billing address.i am a ----- line subscriber, feeling ko they sell our numbers to them.i asked my dad and a friend who are line subscribers, they receive text scam din. hindi naman makapagsumbong sa NTC dahil prepaid number pangtext nila satin. hayyyy

  17. correct, i think there's never a day i dont get messages like these, they're very very annoying!

  18. Oh no! scary naman po yan,sana naman magawan ng paraan yan kung totoo na pwede nila makuha personal info natin.

  19. Yes there should be a law against these "spam" texters. Nakakaperwisho sila. Pls, lawmakers and network operarors, do something naman.
    While we are in the subject of credit cards, can somebody pls enlighten me. Is it really legal for establishments like supermarkets to put a limitation on the number of times a card may be used? Like twice lang then ibang card na. Kasi minsan, sayang ang starbucks promo etc. Eh diba as long as you have proper id naman and as long as the credit card transaction is approved by terminal, dapat ok lang? Its crazy kasi i can just move to another cash register lane so that i can use same card again. Pls enlighten me.

  20. actually there are companies that sells listings. where and how they got our info, that i do not know anymore. :(

  21. I, too, have been receiving similar messages. It never crossed my mind though that the information were sourced from my credit card company. I initially thought that those were random messages so that message from you turned out to be really scary.

    The thing is, I have never really confronted these random texters. But I am an avid complainant at the National Telecommunications Commission. I also block these numbers. So far, there has been a decline in the messages I have been getting.

    Theoretically, your credit card company if prohibited from selling information to anyone. However, it is very difficult to support the accusation that they have, indeed, sold such information.

  22. Creepy!! Actually, there's a healthcare company naman who's harassing me also. He got my info with a credit card company. One day he called about 4 times at home and 5 in my cellphone. He said if I don't pay for the healthcare plan, the agent who contacted me will shoulder the bill. I also get a lot of text messages regarding loans. I even got a call once. Augh.


  23. I experienced an invasion of privacy as well recently.

    A co-worker and I have accounts in the same bank and have the same account officer. So Ms. Account Officer calls my co-worker last week about her time deposits and then says something like: "Nasa China si A noh?" (referring to me) ..."nasa Shanghai diba?"

    I think this account officer had looked up my credit card account and found that I had purchased something in Shanghai. She had no reason to look up my credit card account nor did she have the right to "inform" other people of my whereabouts.

    It was really disrespectful and I felt violated.

  24. OMG. I've been receiving messages like that after I've had my post-paid mobile phone plan; but I never replied to any of them. Some would be offers in various loans and some are insurance company-kuno saying i won something.

  25. Do you know this segment Industry Secrets? I heard that the bank personnel that handles credit card accounts would use existing accounts of their clients to test some transactions. Kumbaga our credit cards would be their "test dummies" for their programs/softwares.

    --That could be true. I am an IT consultant for a bank and we have clients on our test database.. as in totoong tao. Pero hassle parin to. Tsk tsk!! I never replied to any of those, maybe il try asking where they got my number muna so ill have an idea who's d culprit!

  26. Solution = National ID &
    No selling of Sim cards without registering the number. Must show passport or national ID upon registration. In europe they don't sell sim cards without the presentation of passport or national ID, para mabilis mo maireport ang number kpag niloko ka, kc naka register. May law sa europe starting pa nun 2007, na kpag hindi naka register un number automatic deactivated.

    1. Gosh, you're so redundant, kahilo basahin ang comment mo.

  27. If you have complaints regarding financial institutions, do not hesitate to lodge your complaints with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. We should bring this to BSP's attention. After all, the financial institutions belong to that industry which requires integrity and utmost prudence. Just saying.

    judge bee

  28. By the way, thanks fashionpulis for posting my letter. :)
    ~Joseph Bolos

  29. Hi this is Joseph Bolos The number that is receiving these text messages is my prepaid number. Buti also have a post paid number, pero hindi nman ako nkkareceive ng texts na ganun dun sa post paid line ko. Pero yung nkalagay sa infos sa credit card ko na main cp # is my prepaid number. To Anon July 30, 2010 10:25pm Eh ano kung beki ako, porket beki ba pwede na akong harassin ng mga texts offering loans/credits atbp?! Kung ikaw mkareceive ng mga nkakainis na texts na ganun di kba maiinis?!

  30. I have two cp#, postpaid and prepaid numbers. Yung nka register as main contact# is my prepaid. Which is the one that have been receiving those texts offers. While my postpaid # di nman nkkatanggap ng ganung texts.

    ~Joseph Bolos

  31. Anyway, the customer has the right to opt out. Here in the US, customers are given the option to not be included in promotional/marketing mails/emails/etc. Though using a "normal" number is highly conspicuous, legit messages come from special company numbers.

  32. That's scary! I always receive messages like that but I only have ATM accounts and my mobile phone subscription, so I wonder where they get my information! I've tried blocking them using my mobile phone but they use various prepaid numbers to text those annoying messages. Also I really hate getting at least three messages a day from real estate companies! If I want to buy a house I will be the one to approach you! Nakaka highblood sila.

  33. same with other people's sentiment, I recently applied for a postpaid broadband, day after i installed it, i got a msg asking if I want a loan, so i was wondering, how would i get that kind of msg when Im the only one except from the telecom who knows my broadband number. so maybe baka ganun din sau, not necessarily from credit card company.

  34. I get those messages too, but I just delete them. I don't know where they get my number. Its not from a credit card company, I just had my new line last May! Hindi kaya from telecom nila nkukuha yung numbers?


  35. In middle east countries like qatar & uae,one is allowed to have multiple simcard/numbers as long as u present a valid ID ( Passport,driver's license) when purchasing a simcard. This way,one will never even try to do prank texting/calling because u can just easily trace who the sender is by reporting it to the an authority. I believe we should have this here in the philippines kc andami ng bastos & nakakaperwisyo kahit sa text lang tulad ng ganitong case!!!

  36. dont panic guys, though they know ur personal info, if they caught using ur cards they will be responsible for their act...

  37. It's really annoying. I wish there was a way to "unsubscribe" from the texts. *sigh* I get messages at about an average of once a day. Sometimes, they send the SAME text 3x in one day.

  38. Huh?! Hubby receives messages like that! What should we don?!!!!

  39. Wow! I also received calls and texts just like that.. pero dinededma ko na lang.. Yung telemarketer na nasungitan ko sa sobrang kakulitan (i.e "anung part ng NO ang hindi mo maintindihan at ipapaliwanag ko sa iyo?")..then tumawag sya sa hr namin at sinumbong ako. eh mas mataray yung hr namin ayun..pinagalitan sya kasi bakit tumatawag ng oras na busy ang empleyado. hehe

    Siguro is a high time to support national ID system (for the sake of simplifying all those government issued card) and registration of SIMs. Kaya siguro takot ang iba kasi may mga illegal na ginagawa...atsaka there is no such thing as privacy and security anymore..we might as well use this fact to our advantage.

    Fashion Pulis keep it up!

  40. I have the same dilemma. However, even my mother who never uses a credit card receives these text messages. What she thinks now that maybe these people get her important information (address, contact number etc) whenever she signs a raffle in super markets. She thought of it that way because she never uses credit card. Thats why she always tells me NEVER TO GIVE personal informations like home address to credit card companies, banks and even in raffles. Instead give them your office address or provincial address.

  41. they've even invaded facebook. got this fb message couple of days back from someone named Chevy Perez (

    Hi [mynamewashere],

    Please excuse me, Offering you this Metrobank Mastercard.

    (2)Two reasons why you should get a MetrobanK Credit Card

    1. Once approved, entitled to have a watch from Swatch*
    2. Earn rebates and discounts from Petron gas stations if you are driving a car in using this credit card.

    2 Weeks Processing
    No Documents Needed*
    Only ID is Required
    *terms/conditions apply




    Pop Marketing Solutions Inc.
    An Accredited Sales Agency of Metrobank
    02 3996852, 02 3996846

    1. oh my gosh pati fb meron na din, i got a text message like that to my main number which is a prepaid number and when i replied scam? to the text they replied with my complete name and ndi daw sila scam. so scary

  42. There are several ways of telemarketers acquiring mobile numbers -- in fact, in all likelihood, it couldn't have come from the credit card company because if their customer takes out a loan from a competing product, then, they lose the business.

    The most common, solicited but unconscious way of acquiring contact info would be when one fills up information on the web and it doesn't even have to be a financial product, or magazine subscription lists or even when one attends conferences, fills up databases of retail stores, etc.

    It's not necessarily the credit card. In fact, if your credit card is from very reputable banks like citibank or hsbc, they guard their info very very well as their business and reputation depend on it.

    If you feel that it is an employee of the bank who gave your information away, then I recommend that you take it up with your account officer or phone banker but be prepared to provide information that the telemarketer / unsolicited texter got so the bank can trace who accessed your information. You cant just complain because you're annoyed. Prove it and the offending employee can be terminated and if this happens, he/ she can no longer find suitable employment.

  43. Can I add...?? Medyo unrelated though... Ang nakakainis din is yung mga tumatawag from vacuum company, asking you to schedule a free cleaning demo with them. Yung tipong tatawag sila while you're in an urgent mtg then you have to excuse yourself to answer the celphone kasi kala mo kung anong important call, yung pala it's just that pesteng vacuum company agent asking you when you to avail the demo! I already tell them outright that I am not interested and have hung up the phone so many times on them pero tawag pa rin! OMG! I swear I will never avail their product as long as I live!

  44. ganyan talaga sila. kasi my quota sila to fulfill. im from BDO. lahat talaga ng informations nakikita namin.

  45. i started to get messages like that when i got my postpaid line. inisip ko na lang part na ng postpaid life yun...that somehow the company sold my number along with others to telemarketers. i ignored them all. pag kasi pinatulan mo you're just validating na active ang number mo and lalo kang pupuntiryahin. pero what that adrian guy did was wrong. and creepy. hmm...ask to meet tas pabugbog mo :D

  46. Just ignore these messages. It's annoying yes pero it's even more inconvenient to rebuff them because reacting to these messages confirms that you're number and info are still active or accurate.

  47. Para sa akin pasimpleng threat ang pagsasabi ng "Rest assured you are monitored" then pagbibigay ng address mo as proof na alam nya location mo. Yung ibang spam sa prepaid phone dinededma ko na lang, kasi baka mass message yun sa random numbers. pero kung ako si Joseph, itatrack down ko talaga yang Adrian na yan at idedemanda, pati yung kumpanyang pinagtatrabahuhan nya at yung nagbigay ng info.

  48. This really is a very sad predicament to anyone who is affected by this. The best advice I could give na lang is ignore the call. Kung prepaid naman cp ninyo, change the number. I know this is a hassle but do it only if it's necessary. Or you can just ignore nga like everyone else says. Another advice and the MOST important thing is to always check your credit card bills carefully for any suspicious transactions to minimize your loss kasi baka may gumagamit na ng credit card details nyo.


  49. Sagot:
    You may have been in a list of some institutions whose sole purpose is to provide listings to corporations in need of this.

    Sources maybe:
    1) banks
    2) credit cards
    3) job applications (especially for higher management positions)
    4) raffle promos
    5) village listings
    6) application for village stickers


  50. Hi if your are using a postpaid plan they acquired it from the telecom company :)coz when I was using prepaid i never experienced such messages BUT when I started using my postpaid no. mayat mayat meron.. ganun din sa bf ko.. halos sabay kami nakakrecieve eh..

  51. hehe ung unang post ko sinabi ko ung telecom company kaya hindi inapprove

    I get those messages too a few days after I got my line. In know its from them kc I have not told a lot of people yet about my new number pero me mga ganun nko mga texts. Deadma lng. Delete. Kakainis lng na kc akala mo me nakakaalala syo pero spam texts lng pala hehehe

    Kaya pala ganda ng packages nila ng postpaid, me iba pla silang racket :-(

  52. Pwede din that you are a postpaid plan holder and the TeleComs Comp that you are subscribed sold your info. I had an instance kasi na I registered my prepaid number to all of my Credit Cards BUT I recently, I received texts like this one on my postpaid number which is unregistered to any Credit Card company.

  53. Feeling ko nghuhula nalang ng number mga ganun e. Let's give the telecoms the benefit of the doubt din.

  54. I get txts from banks and agents too. annoying!!! even if i reply to them to delete me from their list, txt pa dn ng txt

  55. That happened to me already and the SMS sender is a 3rd party provider for SCB.

    I filed a complaint to BSP Consumer Affairs and did you know that they read email and act on the concerns as soon as possible. So I received a call from the bank apologising about the incident. It didnt happen to me again.

    Below is the information for your reference:

    Financial Consumer Affairs Group
    Central Supervisory Support Subsector
    Supervision and Examination Sector
    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
    5th floor Multi-Storey Building
    BSP Complex, A. Mabini St., Malate, 1004 Manila

    Telephone Numbers:
    Trunk Line: (632) 524-7011, extension nos. 2584
    Direct Line: (632) 523-3631
    E-mail Address:


    Alvin Miguel

  56. I have been receiving calls almost monthly by this number offering INSURANCE for my cc 09227757626. I tried to complain this incident to the cc hotline and yet i am still getting calls up to this month.I just had to completely ignore the call or switch off my cp.

  57. please refer to this link
    much better call your bank/s.

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