Sprint Nextel Sues Private Investigation Firm Over Stolen Phone Records

Sprint Nextel have filed a federal lawsuit against a Florida-base private investigation firm that allegedly used unlawful practices to obtain confidential cell phone records of subscribers.

From a recent article in the St. Petersburg Times —

Sprint Nextel has filed a federal lawsuit against a private investigation firm in St. Petersburg, claiming it stole confidential cell phone subscriber information by posing as customers and employees.

The civil suit, filed Friday in Tampa, alleges that San Marco and Associates Private Investigation Inc. illegally obtained customer cell phone numbers and other information, then sold it to third parties. The cell phone provider wants a judge to order the firm to stop.

Jennifer Walsh, a spokeswoman for Sprint Nextel, said it was unclear how long the St. Petersburg firm had been allegedly stealing customer information.

“That’s part of the purpose of the suit,” Walsh said. “What’s behind the suit is the extreme concern we have about privacy and maintaining our customer privacy.”

San Marco and Associates advertised its services to other business through faxes and fliers handed out at trade shows and distributed on the Internet, according to the federal complaint. The firm charged $75 for providing the cell phone records, the court documents said.

Virginia-based Sprint Nextel provides training to customer service representatives to prevent information thefts like the ones San Marco is accused of. Sprint Nextel employees generally follow a verification process before giving information to a caller.

But the lawsuit says that on several occasions, the private investigation firm managed to get around the verification process. San Marco and Associates sometimes posed as employees of Sprint Nextel or customers to get information, the complaint said. Walsh would not elaborate on how the firm was able to get around Sprint Nextel’s verification process.

For more information, you can read the entire article @ Sprint Nextel sues private investigator.