Pretexting is the practice by which personal information is obtained under false pretenses. It often takes place by telephone or via the Internet. Pretexting occurs, for example, when someone calls a credit card company, pretends to be a particular credit card holder, and obtains information about the true credit card holder’s account. The term is derived from the false “pretext” that is used to obtain personally identifying information. This practice has been deemed both inappropriate and illegal according to the laws of the United States. This entry introduces the concept and examines an investigation into one U.S. corporation’s pretexting practices.

Pretexting Tactics

Individuals who participate in pretexting are known as “pretexters.” Many of these people sell the illegally obtained information to others. This information can be used ...

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