Shadowy data brokers have quietly been trying to sell your information to the highest bidder for years. And, really, the FTC has never cared all that much. A shocking breach of privacy has caused them to sue LeapLab.
LeapLab bought applications submitted to payday lenders. Data in-hand, the company went straight to marketers who, security researcher Brian Krebs says, "Had no legitimate need for it."
That's not all. Here's the part of this story that made the FTC furious, in its own words:
At least one of those marketers, Ideal Financial Solutions – a defendant in another FTC case – allegedly used the information to withdraw millions of dollars from consumers’ accounts without their authorization.
LeapLab might have sold your data to identity thieves. Some company, huh?
On the surface, LeapLab might look like a legitimate business.
I did some digging and found what LeapLab's website looked like in 2011, before the FTC took them down in 2012. Here's a picture.
Take note of the top listing: High-quality leads. That's where LeapLab's scam started. The company bought loan applications, sold the information to online lenders, and made money.
In reality, selling info to online lenders only accounted for about 5% of the company's business. A whopping 95% of LeapLab's purchased loan data went straight to the black market.
If you still don't think that identity theft can touch you, then you're letting sites like LeapLab win.