Longhorn football fans could be part of a "sold-out" crowd – one that has nothing to do with a packed game. Instead, it’s because of a contract between the Texas Exes and Bank of America that some people say “sold-out” their personal information.
Martin Egwuagu graduated from UT in 2010, and he had no idea his information could be part of the deal.
“That's actually a scary thought,” Egwuagu said.
The KVUE Defenders uncovered, Texas Exes has sold the information to Bank of America since 1992. Its current contract promises to provide the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of alumni, faculty, ticketholders, donors, and even students. Texas Exes is guaranteed to make at least $6 million on the deal.
Texas Exes admits that it doesn't notify anyone that their personal information is being sold to Bank of America. The Association refused to go on camera but did acknowledge that it recently provided the names and addresses of 368,767 alumni - only. But at least one UT student we talked to said she's seen the offers.
“Yeah, like all of the time for Bank of America, UT Students. It's always really attractive all these things that you'll get,” UT senior Mary Dinh said.
It's also an attractive deal to universities and alumni groups, who receive royalties on each account opened.
“It's a very lucrative business, and it's unfortunate that that still exists,” Melissa Trevino with Consumers Union said.
Trevino says the average college student racks up $5,000 in credit card debt. Add to that bill the thousands in student loans that must be paid off, and it could take years for a graduating student to climb out of debt.
“They're not really aware of all the things that are associated with owning a credit card,” Trevino said.
At Texas A&M, the Association of Former Students has a 10-year, $17 million deal with Bank of America and most recently provided 257,840 names and addresses of former students.
And the Texas Tech Alumni Association has a seven-year, $3.3 million deal with Chase Bank, providing the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of 193,000 students, faculty, alumni, and donors.
UT sophomore Angelek Marler says it's an individual's choice to sign-up.
But Egwuagu says, if anyone's selling his information, he wants to know first.