Verizon Gave a Woman’s Phone Data to an Armed Stalker Who Posed as Cop Over Email

Joseph Cox, reporting for 404 Media:

The FBI investigated a man who allegedly posed as a police officer in emails and phone calls to trick Verizon to hand over phone data belonging to a specific person that the suspect met on the dating section of porn site xHamster, according to a newly unsealed court record. Despite the relatively unconvincing cover story concocted by the suspect, including the use of a clearly non-government ProtonMail email address, Verizon handed over the victim’s data to the alleged stalker, including their address and phone logs. The stalker then went on to threaten the victim and ended up driving to where he believed the victim lived while armed with a knife, according to the record.

The news is a massive failure by Verizon who did not verify that the data request was fraudulent, and the company potentially put someone’s safety at risk. [...] As the complaint against Glauner notes, this “search warrant” was not correctly formatted and did not include an additional form that is required for search warrants in North Carolina. That, and the Cary Police Department confirmed that no such Steven Cooper is employed with the agency, the document says. The judge who allegedly signed the document, Gale Adams, was shown the document and told investigators the signature was not hers either. Most obviously of all, the document was sent with a ProtonMail email address, which is “not an official government email address,” the complaint says.


Saturday, 9 December 2023