Tag Archives: U.S. Federal Trade Commission

The Not-so-True People-Search Network from China

March 20, 2024

It’s not unusual for the data brokers behind people-search websites to use pseudonyms in their day-to-day lives (you would, too). Some of these personal data purveyors even try to reinvent their online identities in a bid to hide their conflicts of interest. But it’s not every day you run across a US-focused people-search network based in China whose principal owners all appear to be completely fabricated identities.

A Close Up Look at the Consumer Data Broker Radaris

March 8, 2024

If you live in the United States, the data broker Radaris likely knows a great deal about you, and they are happy to sell what they know to anyone. But how much do we know about Radaris? Publicly available data indicates that in addition to running a dizzying array of people-search websites, the co-founders of Radaris operate multiple Russian-language dating services and affiliate programs. It also appears many of their businesses have ties to a California marketing firm that works with a Russian state-run media conglomerate currently sanctioned by the U.S. government.

Promising Jobs at the U.S. Postal Service, ‘US Job Services’ Leaks Customer Data

May 2, 2023

A sprawling online company based in Georgia that has made tens of millions of dollars purporting to sell access to jobs at the United States Postal Service (USPS) has exposed its internal IT operations and database of nearly 900,000 customers. The leaked records indicate the network’s chief technology officer in Pakistan has been hacked for the past year, and that the entire operation was created by the principals of a Tennessee-based telemarketing firm that has promoted USPS employment websites since 2016.

FCC Proposal Targets SIM Swapping, Port-Out Fraud

October 1, 2021

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for feedback on new proposed rules to crack down on SIM swapping and number port-out fraud, increasingly prevalent scams in which identity thieves hijack a target’s mobile phone number and use that to wrest control over the victim’s online identity.

When Your Used Car is a Little Too ‘Mobile’

February 5, 2020

Many modern vehicles let owners use the Internet or a mobile device to control the car’s locks, track location and performance data,¬†and start the engine. But who exactly owns that control is not always clear when these smart cars are sold or leased anew. Here’s the story of one former electric vehicle owner who discovered he could still gain remote, online access to his old automobile years after his lease ended.

Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Online Reviews Part II

October 19, 2015

In July I wrote about the dangers of blindly trusting online reviews, especially for high-dollar services like moving companies. That piece told the story of Full Service Van Lines, a moving company that had mostly five-star reviews online but whose owners and operators had a long history of losing or destroying their customers’ stuff and generally taking months to actually ship the damaged goods it delivered. Last week, federal regulators shut the company down.