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Micro pretexter makes micro payment to FTC

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A tiny business that sold consumers phone records and records of credit card accounts over the Internet is very sorry and promises not to do it again. And no more pretexting, either.

The willfully misnamed Integrity Security & Investigation Services ISIS and its owner, Edmund Edmister, will cough up all ill-gotten gains - a whopping $2,700 - to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Last May, the FTC filed charges against ISIS and four more web-based data brokers, accusing them of illegally obtaining and selling confidential cell phone and credit account records. With today's settlement, ISIS is now out of the legal loop. Litigation continues against the other four.

The charges follow an undercover investigation by the FTC, with a little help from US cellcos Cingular, Sprint, and Verizon. FTC staffers surfed the net to identify American firms selling consumers' phone records. Then they posed as clients [hey - is this White Hat pretexting? - Ed] to complete undercover purchases of the phone records. The FTC followed this up with warning letters to operators of 29 websites that continued to advertise the sale of phone records to the public.

FTC announcement here. ®

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