FTC settles with data brokers for selling sensitive personal information to marketers/scammers

imgres-3Three defendants (John Ayers, Leaplab and Leads Company) settled with the Federal Trade Commission the charges that they knowingly provided marketers/scammers with consumers’ sensitive personal information.

The FTC pressed charges alleging that the defendants, after collecting from consumers hundreds of thousands of loan applications through payday loan websites (the application included names, address, phone number, employer, social security, bank account number and bank routing number) sold those information for $0.50 per consumer to marketers, which had no intention to extend loans. At least one of these “marketers” used the information to withdraw millions from the consumers’ bank account.

The proposed federal court settlement orders (U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona) prohibit those defendants from selling or transferring sensitive personal information about consumers to third parties and to mislead consumers about loan offers and require defendants to destroy the data in their possession within 30 days. A $5.7 million monetary judgment is also imposed — but suspended because the defendants sworn they are unable to pay it.

Another defendant (SiteSearch), which did not settle, was imposed a judgment with similar provisions (except that the $4.1 million judgment was not suspended.)

More here.

For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal.