Last month, a Senate Committee report lambasted “data brokers” for preying on the poor by selling information that highlights which segments of the population are most financially vulnerable.
On the surface this may seem harmless. But these groups are the most easily susceptible to buy risky financial products. The committee comments:
“…precedent underscores the value of such products to unscrupulous businesses that seek to take advantage of consumers. For example, the New York Times has reported on telemarketing criminals that succeeded in raiding the banking account of a 92-year old Army veteran. Data broker InfoUSA sold his name and contact information to a scam artist. As detailed in the Times’ account, InfoUSA advertised lists such as ‘Elderly Opportunity Seekers,’ described as older people ‘looking for ways to make money;’ ‘Suffering Seniors,’ older people with cancer or Alzheimer’s disease; and ‘Oldies but Goodies,’ people described as ‘gullible . . . [who] want to believe their luck can change.’
Among the more insulting practices the committee criticises the brokers for is the epithets they use to describe these at-risk demographics. Here is the full sampling published in the report: