Cingular Wireless has succeeded in the first round of a court fight against websites that offer cell phone records for sale.
Cingular on Friday obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, GA, against two companies, Data Find Solutions, Inc. and 1st Source Information Specialists, Inc. Several weeks ago, Cingular filed a civil lawsuit alleging that these companies unlawfully obtained and disseminated Cingular customer records. The court has now granted Cingular's request for a Temporary Restraining Order in order to halt these companies' ability to obtain and sell Cingular customer records.
Cingular believes that Data Find Solutions, Inc. previously owned and operated several websites that advertise the sale of phone records, including http://locatecell.com/ and http://celltolls.com/, and that 1st Source Information Specialists, Inc. currently owns and operates these websites. Cingular's lawsuit charges that these companies or their representatives obtained customer records through fraudulent means, such as by posing as customers seeking information about their own accounts.
"Cingular will not tolerate the theft of customer records," said Joaquin Carbonell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Cingular Wireless. "We plan to continue fighting cell phone record theft on a number of fronts, including working with law enforcement and policymakers to crack down on websites that offer cell phone records for sale."
Cingular noted that the company has a variety of safeguards in place to protect against unauthorized access to customer information, and the company continues to evaluate and enhance these safeguards. In addition, consumers who wish to better protect themselves should follow standard practices to prevent identity theft, such as adding a password to their account, guarding their password and other personal information, and shredding invoices and account information before discarding these documents.