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9/15/2005
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Verizon Wireless Wins Injunction Against Data Thieves

The injunction is against a Tennessee 'private investigation' company that reportedly uses a number of techniques to obtain private subscriber information.

Verizon Wireless said Thursday that it has received a court order preventing a Tennessee company continuing what Verizon calls the theft of subscriber information.

The wireless operator received an injunction against Source Resources of Cookeville, Tennessee. The permanent injunction prevents Source Resources from acquiring, possessing or selling customer account information without either a court order or the subscriber's permission.

"They call themselves private investigators," Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said in an interview. "They are common identity theft crooks."

In its initial court filing in July, Verizon Wireless claimed that Source Resources used "deceit, trickery and dishonesty" to obtain customer records. Specifically, the wireless operator claimed that Source Resources "is engaged in wrongfully obtaining confidential customer information (such as the customer's calling records) … by posing as a customer of Verizon Wireless seeking information about his or her own account."

The Source Resources "investigators" provided Verizon Wireless customer service agents with security information, such as the victim's social security number of mother's maiden name. That information was, according to Verizon's brief, "wrongfully obtained."

The request for the injunction cited Dan Ealey as the principal of the company and also cited 10 anonymous "John Does" who actually worked to obtain the information. The legal brief said that Source Resources advertised its services over the Internet.

Nelson said that Verizon Wireless customers weren't the other victims but claimed that Verizon Wireless has taken the lead in preventing this type of fraud.

"This may be going on with other wireless companies and telecom companies," Nelson said. "But Verizon Wireless will absolutely go to the mat to protect our customer's rights."

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