A US-based British worker at Vector Networks has been involved in an FBI sting operation to help apprehend a database thief.
Andrew Parsons, vice president of sales at the networking software manufacturer, received an anonymous email offering him the opportunity to buy a competitor's customer database for $20,000.
Parsons immediately telephoned the chief executive of the competitor and, before he knew it, was involved in an FBI operation.
The US law enforcement agency tapped his business line and gave him a list of questions they needed answering to help secure a conviction.
"I decided to help because I believe that competitive data in business needs to be protected," said Parsons.
As in any good film script, a meeting was arranged in a hotel room where Parsons would meet the anonymous database criminal to exchange the money and data. This was the point when the FBI made their hit and arrested the culprit and an accomplice.
An FBI agent, who cannot be named, dubbed Parsons a hero and explained that without his help the operation would not have been completed in two weeks and would probably taken over a year.
Parsons said that he did not feel in danger at any time but was concerned when the conman arrived with an accomplice. "I think afterwards it felt a bit like a film, but it was better because of the adrenaline," he said.
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