• Report: #950725
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Thu, October 04, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, October 04, 2012

  • Reported By: IslandGirl — Omaha Nebraska USA
Internet United States of America

BeenVerified Identity Theft, Stalkers, Invasion of Privacy, Internet

*Author of original report: Nice Try

*UPDATE Employee: BeenVerified Opt-Out Instructions

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BeenVerified is one of several "companies" that sells private information to anyone who is willing to spend a few bucks for it. Some information is made publicly viewable without payment. 

They claim they will remove your information if you request to opt out, but they merely re-categorize it, or make it only accessible for a fee rather than publicly displayed via a search engine. 

The only reason these companies exist is to assist stalkers, identity thieves and other people who use their service for nefarious reasons. 

Serious employers can do a serious background search through serious, reputable channels. Anyone who uses this type of service in order to protect themselves is probably getting outdated, incorrect or incomplete information anyway. Hardly real protection for serious-minded people. 

They actually encourage old boyfriends to look up "lost loves" via their service -- in other words, any creep out there who wants to stalk a girl, hide in her driveway, follow her home from work, etc., can now easily do so via their website or smartphone app. 

Identity thieves can easily invest a few bucks for an account and scour the site for thousands of identities to assume. There's enough sensitive information provided that identity thieves can pretty much wipe you out and wreke havoc in your life for years. 

This is who these people are. This is what they do for money. They not only don't offer any way to filter out users who will access your information to do you harm, either financially or physically, they don't WANT to offer such a service because that's pretty much their target audience. They even advertised on Jersey Shore because those are the sort of people they gleefully proclaim as the people they serve. 

Not only is your information viewable, but your relative's information is linked to your name. If you have young adult children, they can be stalked using your information. 

Write to your Attorney General's office and the Attorney General's office of New York and file a complaint about this company and similar companies. These companies exhibit a blatant disregard for the safety of those whose information they happily sell, and present a serious invasion of privacy. While they claim they use public records, they make it so easy for a criminal to bypass normal security procedures in accessing that info that they are actually aiding and abetting potential criminal activity. 

Also, file complaints with the FTC and FCC.  Contact your representatives in Washington. It's time that citizens stand up to those who would cavalierly sell their information to all the wrong people just so they can line their pockets. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/04/2012 09:30 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/beenverified/internet/beenverified-identity-theft-stalkers-invasion-of-privacy-internet-950725. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Nice Try

AUTHOR: IslandGirl - (USA)

I've been through the "opt out" experience. In short, it sucks. This isn't about "feelings". It's about facts. The truth is that amassing much of this information would require an expensive and time-consuming effort, and the normal process would include several roadblocks and checkpoints for those accessing personal information. Your company and others like it allow strangers to bypass those natural roadblocks and checkpoints, thereby making it faster, cheaper and easier (your own words) to access personal information. You hold no one accountable. You require no identification from them. There is no vetting process in place to weed out suspicious individuals. You are aware there are people using your site for all the wrong reasons, yet you do nothing to prevent this from happening. 

I have written to my representatives, my state's board of elections/voter registration, the FTC, my state's Attorney General's office, and the AG's offices for states in which various personal data search websites/companies are headquartered, and I've begun a  campaign to create legislation much like several countries overseas have implemented in order to make you accountable for the information you release and to require a person's permission before you release it. 

You are openly assisting a number of potentially criminal activities by releasing personal information without asking the consent of those to whom it belongs. You need to be held accountable. Every time someone uses data from your site to commit a financial crime or to personally threaten or harm someone, you are complicit. You are as guilty as they of committing that crime. 

It's time for citizens stand up to bottomfeeders such as you and insist that our representatives and law enforcement agencies protect us from the likes of you. 
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#2 UPDATE Employee

BeenVerified Opt-Out Instructions

AUTHOR: Carla - (United States of America)

I'm very sorry to hear you feel this way.  BeenVerified is a searchable database of aggregated public records.   There are different ways to feel about the accessibility of this information and we respect your opinion.

More importantly, we respect your privacy.  If you would like to be removed from BeenVerified's search results, simply email us with your request and we will remove you at your request.  Email us at privacy@beenverified.com with the information you appear with on BeenVerified.  You will receive confirmation once we have received your request, and we will email you confirmation within two business days that your information has been removed.  Once you have been opted-out, the information is not still available for a fee and it is not re-categorized.  

We also provide these instructions on our site, for requesting the removal of your information from BeenVerified.  For more information, please see: https://www.beenverified.com/opt-out-instructions

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