News Release

Verizon Wireless Takes Aggressive Legal Action To Stop Attempted Theft Of Customer Information By Florida Firm

Lawsuit Says Group Fraudulently Sought Customer Account Information Without Proper Authorization

November 8, 2005

Chuck Hamby
Chuck.Hamby@VerizonWireless.com
813-615-4803

Tom Pica
Thomas.Pica@VerizonWireless.com
908-306-4385

TAMPA, FL — Verizon Wireless has filed suit and obtained an immediate injunction against a Florida-based private investigative agency and its affiliates to stop their attempts to fraudulently obtain confidential information about Verizon Wireless customers. The civil suit, filed November 2 in Hillsborough County, FL, charges that Global Information Group (GIG) of Temple Terrace, FL, made "thousands of attempts" to gather confidential information without proper authorization and used various fraudulent "schemes" to do so, including impersonating Verizon Wireless employees and posing as Verizon Wireless customers.

On November 2, the court issued an immediate temporary restraining order, prohibiting the defendants from any further attempts to obtain confidential information from Verizon Wireless, any further contact with Verizon Wireless customer service centers, or providing any confidential customer information to third parties. Verizon Wireless also obtained an order from the court entitling it to seize any information the defendants may have gathered. Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies executed the order Monday afternoon.

"Verizon Wireless will use all the weapons in our legal arsenal to protect our customers' private and confidential information," said Steven Zipperstein, General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and External Affairs for Verizon Wireless. "We simply will not tolerate fraudulent schemes that prey on our company and our customers. We are very grateful to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for their invaluable assistance in enforcing the court's seizure order."

Verizon Wireless' aggressive and innovative record of protecting customer privacy is unmatched in the U.S. wireless industry. This summer, Verizon Wireless secured a court order to halt a Tennessee-based company's illegal practice of using fraudulent means to obtain and sell confidential customer telephone records. The company also obtained injunctions against telemarketing firms based in Florida and California this summer, halting them from making illegal sales calls to its customers.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.  To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.  

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