March 20, 2006
Sprint Nextel Files Lawsuit Against Fraud Source in Ongoing Effort to Protect Consumer Privacy
Latest Action Aims to Wipe Out Threat Posed by Private Investigation Firm Responsible for "Pretexting" on Behalf of Online Data Brokers
Sprint Nextel Media Contact:
Jennifer Walsh, 913-794-2950
More information on Sprint Nextel's Commitment to Customer Privacy
RESTON, Va. — 03/20/2006
Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against a private investigation firm that employs deceptive practices to illegitimately obtain customer call detail records, and then sells the confidential information to online data brokers. In its complaint against San Marco & Associates of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sprint Nextel states that the company employs fraudulent tactics such as pretexting, the practice of obtaining personal information under false pretenses, to access cell phone logs and phone numbers.
In the suit filed March 17, 2006, in U.S. federal court in Florida, Sprint Nextel states that the schemes conducted by San Marco & Associates invade the privacy of Sprint Nextel's customers. Sprint Nextel has requested both temporary and permanent injunctions against San Marco & Associates.
"As we dig deeper into the origins of this fraud, we've determined that, in some cases, companies with no Internet presence whatsoever are handling the dirty work for these online operations," said Kent Nakamura, vice president for telecom management and chief privacy officer for Sprint Nextel. "We indicated previously that we would take any action necessary to eliminate this threat, and we are following through on that promise to our customers."
In addition to this latest legal action, Sprint Nextel secured a permanent injunction against First Source Information Specialists Inc., parent company of www.locatecell.com, www.datafind.org, and others, based on a complaint it filed in January 2006. As a result, First Source will no longer attempt to obtain, sell or distribute call detail records belonging to Sprint Nextel customers. Sprint Nextel also filed a complaint against All Star Investigations Inc. ("ASI"), a company believed to own and or operate web sites including www.onlinePI.com, www.allstarinvestigations.com, www.detectivesusa.com, www.miamiprotection.com and www.privatedetectivesusa.com.
Sprint Nextel strongly encourages its customers to take precautions to protect themselves. In particular, Sprint Nextel recommends that customers regularly change passwords used to access account information on the Sprint.com web site or when calling customer care, and select unique passwords to access voicemail messages on Sprint phones. For additional customer privacy tips, please go to www.sprint.com/privacy.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.