San Antonio Suit Names Seven Defendants; Investigation Continues in San
SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 6 LAWFUEL – Legal News, Legal Jobs Network — AT&T Services Inc. today amended a lawsuit in federal court to identify seven suspected pretexters accused of accessing customer information without authorization from the company or the customer.
The lawsuit was originally filed on Aug. 23, 2006, naming defendants
only as John Does because of the lack of information about their actual
identity. The lawsuit also sought expedited authority from the court to
identify the defendants by subpoenaing the Internet Service Providers
associated with the Internet Protocol addresses the John Does used when
they accessed AT&T’s records. Today’s amended complaint names defendants
who have been identified through that ongoing process.
Named as defendants in the amended complaint are: Kym McDaniel of
Ellijay, Ga.; Receivables Specialist Inc. of Tamarac, Fla.; A-AAA Mortgage
Loans & Investments Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Katherine Martens of
Lutz, Fla.; SRG Inc. of Richardson, Texas; DWC Research Inc. of Tampa,
Fla.; and Autostar USA Inc. of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The suit targets persons or entities who used fraudulent means to gain
access to AT&T’s business records containing confidential customer
information, including calling-record information.
According to the amended suit, “AT&T brings this action to stop the
defendants from intentionally, fraudulently, and illegally obtaining AT&T’s
business records containing confidential customer information through the
unlawful access of its computers and data storage facilities, and to
recover damages suffered as a result of such unlawful access.”
The complaint contends that the “defendants’ actions invade the
privacy, and potentially the economic and physical well-being, of AT&T’s
customers; erode the reputation of AT&T and its relationship with its
customers; and cause economic damage to AT&T.”
Each of the defendants is alleged to have accessed AT&T records
“through deceit, trickery, and dishonesty.”
The company also filed a motion to prohibit the defendants from
continuing to access confidential information or to make use of any
information they have accessed and to preserve any relevant evidence.
The San Antonio lawsuit — and a similar one filed in San Francisco —
are related to an AT&T internal investigation that identified about 2,500
customers as possible pretexting victims. The affected customers have
previously been notified. The process of identifying the defendants in the San Francisco case is continuing.
In a process known as pretexting, data brokers, investigators, finance companies and others pose as the customer to gain confidential information.
The perpetrators set up unauthorized online accounts by supplying private
customer-identifying information. The online account provides access to the customer’s AT&T account information — including recent calling history.
The online account does not contain the customer’s Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers or similarly sensitive financial, credit or identity information.
AT&T has taken steps to enhance the security of calling records and
continually reviews its processes to thwart unauthorized activity.
Note: This AT&T release and other news announcements are available as
part of an RSS feed at http://www.att.com/rss .
AT&T Inc. is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding
companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide
providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading
U.S. providers of high speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice,
and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60
percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S.
wireless services provider with 58.7 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at http://www.att.com .
Subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. provide products and services under the AT&T brand.