Frank Fright

My friend, Feisty, (we’re not on first name terms yet bwahahaha!) highlighted a serious problem the other day, in her post, https://deweyhop.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/identity-theft/

 

Did you know you can find out people’s Social Security numbers, for FREE???

This is so scary!

 

Feisty says:

“To prove a point, Frank Abagnale listed three possible websites where an identity thief might glean this information. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons, own the world’s third largest database at familysearch.com . Frank suggests that you go to this site and type in the name of someone you know who is deceased and just peruse the information that comes up. Frank typed in the name of his father and this is what he says he found:

…up came my father’s date of birth, date of death, and Social Security number, as well as the last five cities he lived in prior to his death. Because I had searched for Abagnale, I was able to scroll down to more than two hundred Abagnales-aunts, uncles, cousins, who had passed away. Some cousins I didn’t know-third cousins probably. Some died when they were twenty-one and twenty-eight. They must have been killed in Vietnam or in car accidents. But for each person I had the dates of birth and death, a social security number, and the last five localities where they lived. Everything available was derived from publicly available sources.  (pp.35-36)

I took this challenge myself. I typed in the names of two different deceased family members and got very similar information–including information about me although I didn’t type in my name and I’m obviously not dead! I also got information about other living relatives such as names and locations because in one case an obituary had been recorded. I didn’t type in those names either. I could click on every name given and go to that information.”

Feisty.

I had never been worried about identity theft, because my credit score was soooo low, and I had no bank accounts worth more than $1,000.00      And that was only on pay day!       By 3 pm, that balance is down to 48 cents, no joke!

But reading that scared me!      That should NOT be allowed, in my opinion!!      You can do research without SS #s!

So what’s the answer??     I don’t know!     Just be as careful as you can!       I’ve heard of life lock, but who has extra money to pay to protect your money??       Not me!

So, good thing we’re doing the Paper Purgathon, and I’ll start being much more careful about throwing papers away!      I’ll be shredding more, rather than less now!

I’m sure this was a funny movie, but it’s not funny in real life.

Thanks, Feisty, for bringing this to my attention, and making me PAY attention!!     I’d heard of Identity Theft before, but never seriously gave it any thought.

Now I’m giving it many, MANY thinks!!      Trust me!

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21 thoughts on “Frank Fright

  1. I tried a couple names but didn’t come up with anything on the site. But identity theft happens pretty easily – a couple years ago somebody tried to file taxes with my SS#! So now every year I’ve had to print it all out and mail it. And I try to do it asap before somebody tries that again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a crazy crazy world now where you can get mugged electronically while you are sound asleep. Personally, I wouldn’t mind going back to the days before information technology took over our lives. Everything is completely out of control once it is ‘out there’. Hope my comment makes sense, I am sleep walking through the day – so tired! Thanks for the info – it’s the same in the UK with various open registers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That movie actually was pretty funny, but it’s not funny in real life. Genealogy has been a hobby of mine for years and I’m amazed at the information available. Yes, social security #’s, but also birth date and location, parents’ names and birth locations for living people. The same on death certificates as well as their spouse’s name, etc. I don’t know why they don’t hold that information for 100 year or something but they don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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