How Identity Theft can Find Your Personal Information Online?
Finding your critical information online is not that hard. All you have to do is visit public records sites, and you may find some important information about yourself. If you own a property, for example, the address, the mortgage company, parcel number, the purchase price, the amount of debt for the purchase, and the taxes owed and paid on your property are all stored at the county clerk’s office.
• Your name: Directory lookup, such as anywho.com. You only need a published phone number.
• Currently owned real estate: Public records in county clerk’s office
• Current and previous addresses: Search sites, such as findsomeone.com and completedetective.com, you only need first and last name.
• Your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, address, balances, account numbers, and more: Investment accounts that are published online.
• Your name, account numbers, and address: Online banking accounts
• Civil court and criminal records: Public databases
Web sites exist where you need to pay a fee to find information about yourself. The amount of the fee is determined by the number of searches. You can search the county clerk’s office, criminal records and so on. You only need to type in your Social Security Number, date of birth, name, and street address. The site will look through public records for civil suits, bankruptcies, criminal convictions and so on. Do remember that thieves can find this information, too.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs public access to critical financial records, so the identity search sites are not allowed to run financial queries. The FCRA needs your permission to run a financial and credit check. You fill and sign a form to grant permission to mortgage company, a prospective employer, or car dealership to run a financial and credit check. Without this form, they cannot run a check legally.
The FCRA also demands that if derogatory information shows up in the report, you get a duplicate so you can dispute its contents.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the HIPAA Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, provided the first nationally-recognizable regulations for the use/disclosure of an individual’s health information. You can find out more information at http://WhatisHIPAA.org .
The HIPAA Privacy Rule defines the standards that are required to followed to become HIPAA-compliant but it is the HITECH Act that defines the enforcement, accountability, penalty and prosecution-related guidelines. You can find our more information and on http://whatishipaa.org/hitech-act.php a summary of the HITECH Act.