For Release: May 28, 2008
FTC Permanently Halts ‘Pretexting’ Scheme; Defendants Barred From Obtaining or Selling Consumers’ Phone Records to Third Parties
The Federal Trade Commission has put a permanent halt to an operation that allegedly obtained consumers’ confidential phone records without their knowledge or consent and sold them to third parties. The defendants are barred from obtaining consumers’ telephone records without their consent and court orders impose judgments on the defendants totaling more than $600,000 – the estimated amount of their ill-gotten gains.
This is the latest in a series of FTC cases targeting telephone pretexters – individuals who use false pretenses to obtain consumers’ confidential information. Since 2006 the FTC has charged sixteen individuals and their corporations with violating federal law by pretexting to obtain phone records of third parties. All have now been barred from pretexting and all have been ordered to give up the money they made engaging in the illegal practice.
Federal Trade Commission, Plaintiff, v. Action Research Group, Inc., Joseph Depante, Matthew Depante, Bryan Wagner, Cassandra Selvage, and Eye in the Sky Investigations, Inc., Defendants.
(United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division)
Civil Action No.: 6:07-CV-0227-ORL-22JGG
File No. 072 3021
Link to the case documents