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PIs Selling Phone Records Sued By The FTC 79

carl writes "According to an MSNBC article, the FTC has sued five different background investigation firms for selling confidential phone records." From the article: "In the lawsuits announced Wednesday, the FTC charged the companies used 'false pretenses, fraudulent statements, fraudulent or stolen documents or other misrepresentations, including posing as a customer of a telecommunications carrier' to get the phone records. The companies advertised on their Web sites that they could get the confidential phone records of any individual and make them available for a fee, the agency said."
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PIs Selling Phone Records Sued By The FTC

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  • by pestilence669 ( 823950 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @03:53PM (#15265101)
    Call the SBC's DSL department and claim to be a friend "helping" someone install their DSL modem... but insist that you don't know the address or anything else. Be as dumb as possible on the phone. Get a little drunk if you can't be convincing.

    Often, the customer service reps will read back the entire address, and sometimes, even the last for digits of the SSN. I found this out when I was ligitimately calling them because of a line problem.

    I never had any problems adding service, removing service, or getting personal account information... all without identifying myself whatsoever. Need an address for a telephone number, call SBC and tell them you want DSL. The phone reps will "verify" your address by reading it back. Awesome, huh?
  • by JTorres176 ( 842422 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @03:58PM (#15265138) Homepage
    Doesn't equifax as well as a number of other credit reporting agencies sell private information of consumers without their consent already? Hell, they even want to charge you if you look at it.

    1. Collect Private information
    2. Sell information to companies
    3. profit!
    4. Sell individuals their own information
    5. More Profit!
  • Why steal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:44PM (#15265554) Homepage Journal
    Didn't the phone carriers get permission to sell call records for marketing purposes? Just set up Sam Spade's Market Consultants, pay 17 cents per record for the block of 1000 numbers that includes your target (Joe Whistleblower), then charge your client (Sleazeco) $250 for the information that their employee Joe called Sixty Minutes eighteen times in the last six months.

    Then if you're entrepeneurial you take the names from the other 999 records and cross-reference them with divorce filings, call up and say "would it be useful to have proof that your soon-to-be-ex husband called Jennifer's Massage every payday?".

    And those are some of the least damaging possibilities. Think how much money a crook could make tracking Wall Street traffic patterns.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984