• 9 investigates if people can disappear from certain websites

    By: Scott Wickersham


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Online databases and search engines promise to gather facts secretly about any person, but it is still easy to find most people’s personal information including Spokeo, that provides current and past addresses, phone number, email, family member names and social media profiles.

    This information can be found with only knowing a person’s name.

    "There is a great deal of data on all of us online, and people do have a reason to be concerned." North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said.

    List of opt out links for people search websites:

    Criminals could use hacked financial data like in the Equifax breach, coupled with public information to wreak havoc on a victim’s financial well-being.

    "Then, they match that with the information they can get lawfully online,” Stein said. “Then, they can take out credit in your name, and they can ruin your credit rating and that can make your life miserable."

    Some websites that do have people’s information give them an option to opt out of being listed.

    Even after that, those websites provide links to others that give out the same information but some indicated that it may resurface if privacy settings are limited on other sites.

    "The key is to really lock up that critically important personal information," Stein said referring to Social Security, drivers license, credit card and bank numbers.

    Stein said the best protection is to lock your credit so if someone does get your information.

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