Definition Edit

Pretexting is a scheme used to obtain sensitive personal information. In many cases, pretexters contact a financial institution or telephone company, impersonating a legitimate customer, and request that customer’s account information. In other cases, the pretext is accomplished by an insider at the financial institution, or by fraudulently opening an online account in the customer’s name.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Edit

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) prohibits the making of false or fraudulent statements or representations to an officer, employee, or agent of a financial institution, or to a customer of a financial institution, to obtain customer information.[1] The GLBA also prohibits anyone from requesting a person to obtain customer information of a financial institution, knowing that the person will use fraudulent methods to obtain information from the institution. Section 523 of the GLBA[2] imposes criminal penalties for knowing and intentional violations of these provisions.

FTC actions Edit

The Federal Trade Commission has brought a number of actions against pretexters.[3]

References Edit

  1. 15 U.S.C. §6821.
  2. 15 U.S.C. §6823.
  3. See, e.g., "Information Brokers Settle FTC Charges"(full-text) and "FTC Seeks Halt to Sale of Consumers’ Confidential Telephone Records."(full-text)