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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Form 470 cold calls throw a chill

First, the spambids, then spam unrelated to E-Rate, then phishing emails, then phishing phone calls, and now cold calls.

Ever since the filing window closed, we have gotten repeated phone calls from a certain Web hosting company.  If we pick up, the callers say, "Oh, sorry, wrong number," or just hang up.  Somehow, I can't believe they're dialing the same wrong number several times a day for weeks. What's really going on?  My supposition: this company has a list of everyone who was a contact on a Form 470, and are running down the list making cold calls, looking for new clients.  They apparently aren't clever enough to find duplicates in the list, so they call us over and over, but once the callers hear that they've reached a consulting company, not a district, they hang up.

It's time to hide all contact info on the Form 470.  And not just the download tool.  There is at least one company extracting contact info from the form itself and selling that.  Contact info should be scrubbed from all public display.


  1. OK, so today the same company called back and asked for the director of technology for one of my clients. The tech director's name is not on any forms. So I guess they've bought a list from a company that relies on the Form 470 for phone numbers, but is getting employee names elsewhere.

  2. Today's counterespionage operation (stringing the cold caller along to find out what they know) indicates that the Web hosting company has a list which uses phone numbers from the 470, and names of webmasters taken from school websites.