GfK GeoMarketing warns of fraudulent activity in the CRESTA map industry
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GfK GeoMarketing warns of fraudulent activity in the CRESTA map industry

April 09, 2010 — GfK GeoMarketing, the official supplier of the worldwide CRESTA maps, fell victim to an as of yet unidentified person or persons who fraudulently gained access to the company's CRESTA maps. GfK GeoMarketing filed suit against the perpetrator for fraud and theft and is offering a reward of €10,000 for information leading to a conviction.

The fraudulently obtained maps correspond to precisely those countries that GfK GeoMarketing just completed for the CRESTA organization: Germany, China, Japan, Mexico and Australia. These maps would be very difficult or even impossible to reproduce by another provider within a short span of time and in a comparable quality.

"As far as we know, the data were accessed from a location in the Greater London area," explains Wolfram Scholz, CEO of GfK GeoMarketing. "The responsible person has significant knowledge of the CRESTA zones as well as the players in the reinsurance industry. We anticipate that the culprit will attempt to sell these maps or may indeed already have done so in recent weeks."

GfK GeoMarketing asks that anyone who receives or has recently received a suspicious offer of current CRESTA zones for Germany, China, Japan, Mexico or Australia contact them immediately.

"This brazen criminal act will not be tolerated by GfK GeoMarketing," says Wolfram Scholz in an appeal to the GIS sector. "Our data are protected by intellectual property rights and copyright regulations – any reselling or purchasing of the data violates our rights. The entire branch suffers when mutual trust is compromised in this way. We therefore kindly ask market participants to contact us if they are or have been approached with a suspicious offer. Law enforcement personnel can check the legality of the maps with the assistance of external experts. Our maps have special cartographic features and attributes that can be used to trace their origin."

The involvement of legal authorities and third-party experts ensures that any affected company will not be in breach of copyright and license regulations by providing the data.

Tips and information can be sent to Doris Steffen of GfK GeoMarketing: Email Contact or
+49 0 7251 9295180.

Download press release (approx. 100 KB)

About GfK GeoMarketing

GfK GeoMarketing is the official provider of the worldwide CRESTA maps. Our worldwide, detailed and finely rendered digital maps and geodata are the basis for the CRESTA organization's allocation of the world's natural disaster zones. Thanks to these maps' unparalleled accuracy, quality and coverage, GfK GeoMarketing has long been the official provider of the worldwide CRESTA maps for the CRESTA organization.

GfK GeoMarketing is one of the largest providers of geomarketing services in Europe for customers and users from all branches of trade. Key business areas include:

GfK GeoMarketing is a subsidiary of the globally active GfK Group. Ranked fourth among the world's market research institutes, the GfK is represented in 100 countries with over 150 subsidiaries and 10,000 employees.


GfK GeoMarketing GmbH,
Cornelia Lichtner
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 0 7251 9295 270
Fax: +49 0 7251 9295 290
E-mail: Email Contact