Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Banks send refinance letters to people who don't have mortgages

Not a big thing, but some banks send out prepaid mass mailers offering refinancing and lower mortgage interest rates -- to everyone, including people and homes or condos without mortgages.

A sign of possible identity theft?  A sign of an unknown title problem?

The mailing will have an NMLSR of the agent but not contract number.  (Make sure you don't see one.)

Picture: group housing for CCC "volunteers" in the 1930s in the Blue Ridge. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

"Instant Checkmate" consolidates public records and social media by person, could stimulate more debate on "right to be forgotten"

I’m putting this story here rather than on my main blog because I’ll probably do a bigger follow-up soon.  There is a site called “Instant Checkmate” that aggregates public records of anyone (in the US?) and displays them to any viewer  The news story is told to Jessica Ruane here
It even includes salary levels, divorces, weapons licenses, and the like.  I can see people checking out potential dates with it (way beyond the simple Google check).  But what about potential employers?
The practical issue is that, in the pre-Internet era, people had to go physically to specific courthouses to find public records.  It gave work to private investigators (although Magnum PI – Tom Selleck – stayed in Hawaii). 
Will this lead to more interest in “the right to be forgotten” in the US? (Or, "the right to be forgiven"?) 
But how often are stolen identities misrepresented in public records? 
I have no idea how the data was lifted from the individual jurisdictions.
There is an obvious security issue for many people in that it becomes very easy to determine where someone lives. 
It’s pretty obvious it can be used to check neighbors, or look for sex offenders. 

The company also says it mines social media.
I don’t personally look people up this way.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  But I can’t rule out the idea in a specific situation, even at 71.

I would be concerned that the site could be used by loan wolf terrorists (inspired overseas, as by ISIS) to locate where targets live.
Picture: This quick mate can occur in the Dutch Defense (if the pawn takes the Bishop, White plays Q-R5 mate!)