Spokeo.com Posting Your Personal Info for Use by Online Scammers
A new website called Spokeo.com is compiling personal information from phonebooks, public, financial, real estate records, Facebook and MySpace, and is then posting it on their website as a virtual rolodex. Their tagline: “Not your grandma’s phonebook.”
How Scammers Can Find You on Spokeo.com
By searching someone’s name and city, users can find phone numbers and email addresses, but also:
- Zodiac Sign
- Relationship Status
- Class Status
It also knows the number of people in your household, how long you’ve lived there, the estimated home value and whether or not you have a swimming pool.
There's lot of information out there,” said Richard Enbody, a Professor of Computer Science at Michigan State University. “We usually think of this information as being in a courthouse somewhere. It always has been public, but it hasn't been easily available.
Security Experts Warn Spokeo.com can be Used by Scammers
While the site itself is not a scam, security experts fear that criminals can use the information posted on the site to scam others.
The site can link your profile to relatives and family members and lists whether you have any pets. It can even pinpoint your location using Google Maps and post photos of your house, without your permission.
Spokeo.com charges users for more detailed information like your credit score or income level, but not at much cost. A 12-month membership costs $2.95 per month to gain unlimited access to:
- Lifestyle & Interests
- Political and Religious Beliefs
- Mortgage Value
- Credit Score
- Estimated Income
If you stumble upon your name on the site and wish the information to be taken down, you can request its removal by contacting the privacy rep—tucked away in the footer terms of the site.
Even if it is removed from Spokeo.com, scammers can find the same information on the originating sites.
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New York, United States