BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's most reliable network, today stepped up its campaign to protect wireless customers' privacy by filing a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the owners of locatecell.com Data Find Solutions, First Source Information Specialists and related companies and other affiliated Web sites to prohibit them from obtaining cell phone customer calling or billing information under false pretenses. Verizon Wireless claims these companies have fraudulently attempted to obtain customer records by calling Verizon Wireless customer service centers posing as Verizon Wireless employees needing access to confidential customer information.
In its lawsuit filed in Federal Court in New Jersey, Verizon Wireless is seeking injunctions against Data Find Solutions, Inc. and one of the company's principals, James Kester, both of Knoxville, TN; First Source Information Specialists, 1st Source Information Specialists and principal Steven Schwartz, all of Tamarac, FL, and operators of several data broker Web sites; plus Kenneth W. Gorman of Jensen Beach, FL, and a principal of First Source and 1st Source, to prevent them from obtaining confidential customer information through fraud and deception, and to prohibit advertising and selling the information. The defendants are the owners of the notorious Web sites:
Steven Zipperstein, general counsel and vice president of legal and external affairs at Verizon Wireless, said "Verizon Wireless will continue litigating aggressively against these illegal attempts to obtain and traffic in our customers' private information. We applaud the recent focus on these issues from public officials, privacy advocates and law enforcement. Together we can shut this down once and for all."
Verizon Wireless' record of aggressively protecting customer privacy has put the company at the forefront of the U.S. wireless industry:
- In December 2005, Verizon Wireless won permanent injunctions to stop two telemarketing firms Intelligent Alternatives of San Diego, CA, and Resort Marketing Trends of Coral Springs, FL from making calls to Verizon Wireless customers by using auto-dialers and recorded messages. Federal consumer protection law prohibits use of auto-dialers or pre-recorded messages in calls to cell phones: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2005/12/pr2005-12-09.html
- In November 2005, Verizon Wireless filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Passport Holidays of Ormond Beach, FL, for violating federal and state laws after it sent more than 98,000 unsolicited short text messages to Verizon Wireless customers informing them they supposedly had won a cruise to the Bahamas and asking them to call to claim their prize: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2005/11/pr2005-11-23.html
- On November 9, 2005, Verizon Wireless obtained an immediate injunction against Global Information Group (GIG) of Temple Terrace, FL after the company 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. The suit is pending: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2005/11/pr2005-11-09a.html
- On September 15, 2005, Verizon Wireless secured a permanent injunction against Source Resources Inc, a Tennessee-based company, to halt its illegal practice of obtaining and selling confidential customer telephone records. Verizon Wireless brought the lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind, after one of its customers reported that his confidential wireless phone records had been secured without his permission by Source Resources: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2005/09/pr2005-09-15.html
- In August 2004, Verizon Wireless obtained an injunction against Rhode Island resident Jacob Brown, a known spammer who had been sending numerous text message solicitations to Verizon Wireless customers: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2004/08/pr2004-08-30.html
- In June 2004, Verizon Wireless broke with the wireless industry by becoming the first to announce it would protect customer privacy by refusing to participate in a national wireless phone directory: http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2004/06/pr2004-06-21.html
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 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.