Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Prabook.org - Identity Theft R Us

So Sunday night I discovered a new "social media" website called prabook.org, and the WAY I discovered it was to find out that someone had created a profile for ME--without my permission or knowledge--INCLUDING date and location of birth, who my parents are (including my mother's maiden name), and they even had a copy of an old resume and had uploaded all the details from that. I immediately contacted them to tell them to take it down, which they did, but they said that since anyone can add information, it could be restored, they would do nothing about it, and they assumed no responsibility for anything about their website.

I know there's a lot of information and public records available online, but the resume they got hold of was from around 1997, so it would have been printed on actual paper and mailed to companies.  It was never emailed or uploaded to anything.  So the copy they have, if not obtained illegally, was certainly obtained in an unauthorized manner via old company files or dumpster-diving.   So aside from supplying more than enough information for someone to have swiped my identity, they're doing it through unauthorized--perhaps illegal--methods.

So, make sure to do a web search on your own name on a regular basis. I had no idea anyone could be quite so clueless, but prabook.org is a real site and their policies are dangerous and inexcusable.

Updated to add:  Since posting these warnings, both my blogs have been hit with surges of traffic stemming from countries so known for identity theft that most American credit cards automatically reject any transactions in them.  If Prabook weren't a scam, why the sudden interest?  And WHY STEAL INFORMATION?  So, it's almost certainly a scam. If your information has been published without your knowledge or consent, please file a complaint IMMEDIATELY with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.