Word of the Day: Pretexting. Brought to you by Hewlett-Packard

BlogHer Original Post

Like a rock star who becomes an overnight success, pretexting is word that seems to have come out of nowhere,and now, within a 24-hour newscycle, is permanently emblazoned in our collective minds.

Like disingeneous and gravitas before it, pretexting is a word for the times. According to Federal Trade Commission :

Pretexting is the practice of getting your personal information under false pretenses. Pretexters sell your information to people who may use it to get credit in your name, steal your assets, or to investigate or sue you. Pretexting is against the law.

Just 36 hours ago many would have called this fraud.But in an era of specialization, pretexting is a subset of fraud. A particular type of fraud. One report went on to explain pretexting is a forerunner of identity theft,which to some, is also fraud. For the foreseeable future, expect to hear the media talking about pretexting ad nauseam.

Just eleven days ago, Forbes named Patricia Dunn as the 17th most powerful woman in the world. Note: She is on the 2005 list which seems to have been published September 1, 2006.

How fast they fall. Today, Patricia Dunn-Nonexecutive chairman, Hewlett-Packard; Global chief executive, Barclays Global Investors faces her board about "pretextgate",a scandel that is gaining momentum even as the country pauses and remembers that it is 9/11.

Speaking in her own defense, reported by theAssociated Press Dunn is reported to have said,

...she had no clue investigators would resort to pretexting, saying she didn't even know what the word meant until June or July - a few months after she authorized the investigation. She said she still doesn't know the identity of the firm behind the pretexting

Elana Centor writes FunnyBuiness, a blog about business culture.



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