Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is Big Brother watching?

Wow! the information people can access about you in a digital age is scary and amazing all at the same time. I was recently reading the book, "Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times" and he mentioned this web site where you can go to find the information that insurance companies, loan agencies and potential employeers often use to verify your personal information that you provide on applications. The link is at the site you can get Insurance reports, Employment reports and Resident History reports for free.  They have full access to all public records and put them in one place. You can see what information about you is maintained in their files by ordering copies of the information that they maintain and use to create consumer reports about you.  This includes items such as real estate transactions and ownership data, lien, judgment, and bankruptcy records, professional license information, and historical addresses on file. For a small fee they have reports for renter's background checks, vital records like birth, death and marriage certificates, and Home seller disclosure reports.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions is not a credit reporting agency and does not create credit reports. Your LexisNexis file will include your personal credit report if ordered by a LexisNexis customer in connection with a background report (for example, if an employer requested your credit report as part of a background check).

Think that this is all too much information for anyone to order about you? You can opt-out of the dissemination of personally identifiable information from LexisNexis Risk services databases. In addition, certain LexisNexis Risk Solutions products and services are subject to security freeze laws, which allow consumers to restrict access to certain consumer reports. Clark Howard suggests that you have them send you a free report to check the information for accuracy but you will want to order your report before freezing access to the information (you can "thaw"your report at a later date). This is not the same as adding a freeze to your credit report, which has to be done with the credit reporting agencies TransUnion, Equifax or Experian. LexisNexis does supply contact information for all three credit reporting agencies on their website.
LexisNexis gives clear instructions on the website on how to request a freeze.

LexisNexis will send a full disclosure report only if you have verified your identity. They require 2 valid forms of ID like a driver license and passport, and they require address verification like copies of bank statements or tax documents. After providing these verifcations they will take about 15 days to send your report.

Michele, Children's Librarian

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