Al Schweitzer, a former pretexter, described before Congress the underlying principle of how, for fun and profit, he was able to trick various agencies and institutions into giving up other people’s confidential and personal information.
Identify the piece of information you are after; identify who or what institution is the custodian of the information sought; based on real world situations or actual operational procedures of the target institution, figure out under what circumstances and to whom the desired information would be released; be that person under those circumstances.
Emphasis added. Using this method Al was able to get people’s phone records, bank statements, and tax returns for his clients, who were often insurance companies, lawyers, and law enforcement. He successfully pretexted the IRS and the Social Security Administration. Simply put, if someone with money wants it, your personal information is not secure.
[via Red Tape Chronicles]