I have received another response to this OIA request that concerns me as it appears to have come from another agency and it looks like spam

Belinda Hodson made this Official Information request to Pharmaceutical Management Agency

The request was partially successful.

From: Belinda Hodson

Dear Pharmaceutical Management Agency,

I raised an OIA on 31st July and you kindly responded to this - thank you. Yesterday, I received another response about this OIA after believing that it was closed but this time it came from Victor Adams of Demand Generation asking: "Would you be interested to procure an opt-in email list of Medical Equipment Manufacturing Professionals which includes complete verified contact details and email addresses." You can see it here at:


Is this spam and should I be concerned that I have received this? This does seem an odd thing to receive and I presume does not come from Pharmac ?

Should I just ignore this or make a complaint to the Ombudsmen as it does look like a piece of correspondence that is unbefitting with the spirit of OIAs. If you could advise, that would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Belinda Hodson

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From: Web Enquiry
Pharmaceutical Management Agency

Thank you for your email. We are looking into your query and will get back
to you as quickly as possible. Please note, our response time may vary
depending on the nature of your request.

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From: Web Enquiry
Pharmaceutical Management Agency

Dear Belinda,

Thank you for your email regarding your OIA request.

Unfortunately I cannot advise you as to why you have received an email from Victor Adams. Your questions might be best directed to the volunteers who run fyi.org.nz.

We replied to your request to the email address that you sent your original request from, and have not shared that email address or any other information with any other parties.

I hope this information is of assistance.

Kind regards
Alexis Poppelbaum

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Oliver Lineham left an annotation ()

On behalf of FYI.org.nz:

Each request has an unguessable email address this is only normally visible to the authority, not the requester. When spam gets through to a request, it is because the spammer has got hold of that unique address.

In this case, the most likely way the spammer got the address was because it was included in the response PDF as text. This doesn't happen often because most authorities use scanned documents, and spammers rarely use OCR to extract the text.

I applaud PHARMAC for using text in their PDF rather than a scan. Unfortunately also including the email address led to spam.

The other way spammers get hold of the address is from someone handling the request at the authority (or some external party which assisted). This can be hard to track down. It could be malware on a user's device, or it could be more remote. For example: a user may have email on their smartphone, which uses a consolidated contact list, synchronised to a cloud provider, which some third party service has been given permission to read. This is a security challenge in the best of organisations, so I won't be too harsh on any organisation.


Oliver Lineham
FYI.org.nz admin

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