Armed with online access and a credit card, I discovered that I’ve been married twice in Texas and accumulated 31 criminal records nationwide and one federal criminal record. The trouble is, I’ve never done any of those things — those are different Jeremy Simons.
That information was revealed courtesy of a personal background report. As a reporter who covers the credit industry, and having recently downloaded a copy of my credit report, I decided to see what other consumer information is easily accessible. Using myself as the test subject, I ordered a complete background check on my own name (first name, middle initial and last name) plus nationwide and federal criminal checks at a cost of $69.90 through Bellevue, Wash.-based information company Intelius.
Those sneaks — they fooled even a Web-savvy guy like me into signing up for a “service” I didn’t want. Thankfully, the U.S. Senate agrees with me that this is just plain wrong.