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  • The Sucker List – The Worst List You Could Be On

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At Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch, we’ve discussed a range of scams and cons that prey on residents every day. How do you keep getting targeted, where are they getting your phone number, and how can you stop them? What many people don’t know is that there exists, out there on the net: “Sucker Lists”, a comprehensive list of everyone that scammers are confident they can get to. And believe it or not: you may be on this list.

Even If You Hide Your Personal Information, It’s Still Out There

If you’ve ever been solicited over the phone, in person, or on the web, you’re right in being reticent in providing personal information to parties you can’t trust. But no matter how little you give, you’re always leaving some information in the hands of a scammer. An email, a phone number, a first name, an address. Unfortunately, you can’t stop all information about you from getting out there. And it’s with this information that scam artists create, buy, and sell your name on a Sucker List.

What is a Sucker List?

A Sucker List contains all relevant information that can be gathered from you in a chance meeting. Maybe you gave some money and a phone number to a fake charity. That information goes on the list. You fell prey to a job scam online? That will be mentioned on the list. Thousands of Canadians make up a Sucker List, and they details in alarming detail exactly how best to hit you with scams.

And the whole process has become a business in itself, as lists circulate the black market as a directory-for-sale. Anyone with the money and connections to buy this list will have access to your information. Many of these buyers uses the information to continue to make contact with you for fraudulent deals. Other offer “recovery services” to help you get your money back – but don’t get excited: these individuals are likely to just take your money and run.

How To Beat the Sucker List

The Sucker List exists because these people genuinely believe “Once a Sucker, Always a Sucker”. And for many individuals who have been scammed before, this may be true. Statistically, people who have been successfully defrauded once are more likely to be defrauded again than even individuals whom have never been the target of scams.

You may not have your information ever removed from any list, but you can decrease the value of it by responding appropriately to any unsolicited phone call or email offering you anything. Hyper-vigilance against scams may seem a dramatic reaction to these types of communications; but the more you refuse to fall prey to a repeat incident, the more likely you’ll stop being contacted.

The Sucker List is still a poorly understood and recognized element of criminal activity. It’s only with the advent of the internet that con artists have been able to communicate with each other so openly. The Sucker List is out there and, if you’re on it, you should take the right steps to make it clear that you aren’t worth the trouble.

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