Friday, January 12, 2007


“Pretexting” is an identity theft crime in which someone poses as the victim in order to obtain private commercial information such as billing information and telephone number call lists. The protections with businesses, such as the phone company or utility company are few, but the law is very clear – it’s illegal.

However law enforcement at both the state and federal level has been lax in prosecuting this crime. But with the recent revelation of identity theft crimes against board members at Hewlett Packard by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, the reluctance to prosecute seems to have evaporated.

Within weeks of the public appearance of this crime the California Attorney General moved to prosecute the crime. On January 11, 2007 it became apparent that Federal Prosecutors were also moving against a private detective working out of Colorado and for HP. Today on the 12th the press announced that an arrest had been made by federal officials for the identity crime of pretexting by the private eye.

Pretexting is a crime. It has been a crime for years. Pretexting is the theft of confidential, protected, and private information. We support both state and federal prosecutors in their willingness to tackle this crime.


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