Your personal life may not be personal

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According to Life Lock, nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft. And it’s getting much easier for hackers to do it. Shelby Rose shows you how what criminals are using to get your personal information.

Getting a phone call of someone claiming to be with law enforcement requesting your personal information can be intimidating. But more times than not, it’s a scam. And it’s an easy avenue for identity theft.

“You can get a lot of information right now on people. And as much as we try to keep our personal lives private, there’s just resources out there that are available to anybody that has access to a computer and the internet,” said Major Gary Schaffer with the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department.

Believe it or not, it’s actually incredibly easy for someone to access all of your personal information. There are websites that all you have to do is enter your first and last name, and your previous addresses, phone numbers and emails along with anything else can be available and free for anyone to use.

Major Schaffer added, “There’s new sites popping up all the time that have people’s information on it.”

Family Tree Now and Fast People Search are two of them. There is a way to take your page down, but you still have to be vigilant in other ways. Major Schaffer says to never give information like your social security number over the phone. And if you’re unsure, hang up the phone and call the sheriff’s department.

Maj. Schaffer: “When it comes down to it, if somebody’s desperate enough, there’s going to be avenues they can take to find information on people. But I just think you need to be vigilant and try to keep your information as protected as you can,” said Major Schaffer.

And those are just two of the websites I’m aware of. In this digital age, it’s hard to keep our personal lives personal. But taking the steps Major Schaffer outlined can help lessen the risk of your identity being stolen.

If you want your information deleted from Family Tree Now and Fast People Search, visit these links and follow the instructions. 

https://www.familytreenow.com/optout
https://www.fastpeoplesearch.com/removal

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