About a month ago I changed auto insurance carriers to get a better rate. After filling out an online form and paying the premium I downloaded my insurance card, good to go! Or so I thought.
Several days later I get a letting in the mail from the insurance company, they wanted to know about a wreck involving my wife from about three years ago. Not a big deal, I called them and let them know that she was at fault. I figured my rates may go up a bit, but they ended up staying the same. Reading the letter again, it stated that the information came from a CLUE report. It didn’t take more than a few seconds to Google to find out that CLUE was a report put out by a company called Lexis Nexis.
Taking a look at Lexis Nexis, it appeared as though they sell personal information that landlords, insurers, employment managers, etc. could use to get some information about your background. Knowing the ins and outs of FACTA, I was able to find where you can order a report on yourself, once a year, for free.
I had to print out a form and send it in to the company with a scan of my driver’s license and a copy of a utility bill. Two weeks later, I get a fairly large envelope in the mail from them.
It. Had. Everything. 36 pages, the vast majority of them had information on the front and back. Information such as:
- Physical addresses
- Email addresses
- Places I’ve rented
- Mortgage information
- Driving Record
- Tax Assessor records
- Vehicle and Watercraft registrations
- Marriage records
- Education records
- Phone number records
- Online ordering records (WTF?)
- Social Security records
- Property records
- ID records
I certainly received my CLUE report, that covered several years of my driving history and insurance history. It also included my old vehicles, an ex-girlfriend and her vehicles, dates I was insured, amount I was insured for, etc.
The rest of the file was something extraordinary. In addition to the 14 things I listed above, it also had specific places for information pertaining to:
- Business/LLC records
- Criminal records
- Bankruptcy records
- Lawsuit, civil filings, judgment and lien records
- Professional license records
- Sexual offender registry records
- Payday loan records
- Aircraft records
- Concealed weapon permits
Have you ever heard of Alloy Media, American Student List, Virtual DBS (Entirea), Acquire Web, M1 Data and Analytics, IBehavior Inc, LSSIDATA Corp? Because they have certainly heard of you. Some of the things listed are part of the public record, such as criminal history, business records, current address, etc. Most of it though is information specifically gathered from you or someone you did business with, at some point in your life, collected into a neat little sheet ready to sell to those looking for information about you.
There was an email address listed for me that I don’t even remember using, at any point in my life, that’s how thorough this report happens to be. On the other hand, I’ve been married for three years and there is no marriage data on my report. This shows why it’s so important to double check information on these kinds of reports. Other than the no marriage recorded error, I found at least two other things wrong on my report. Things that Lexis Nexis will pass off as correct information.
After seeing all of this, I would have normally pulled my credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure they weren’t reporting incorrect information but I’ve already receive my free reports for the year. If you haven’t, you can pull your own files from them to double check the information, it won’t give you a credit score though.
Instead, I logged into my Credit Sesame account just to make 100% sure nothing looked weird with my credit. Everything looked good, my credit score is pretty much the same as it has been for a year.
I’m still sitting here kind of stunned, a day later, that one company could collect so much information about you. It makes me think what kind of information other data companies have that do not sell personal history reports on individuals. Take Facebook for example, they could probably tell you much more about yourself than this report could. Combine your Lexis Nexis report with Facebook’s internal data and you’ve got a likely dream scenario for someone looking to either find you or market products towards you.