A Horrible Mistake I Made 5 Years Ago Came Back To Haunt Me When I Typed My Name

Last Updated @ 12:00pm 02.14.19
Author: Neighbor Who Relationship Specialist
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The adage, “The Internet is forever” isn’t just a saying: as it turns out, it’s actually true — and what you can find not just on yourself, but on anyone, can be worrisome.

In fact, I learned this first-hand when I searched my name on the website Neighbor Who.com. I thought I knew everything about myself, but I was dead wrong. Obviously, I had tried Googling my name before, but the results only revealed so much. When I plugged my name into Neighbor Who though, I found all kinds of information: some I already knew, like my address and phone number, but others were news to me. According to the site, I had created a handful of hidden social media accounts years ago that were unfamiliar to me. When I checked them out, some of my personal information was available for anyone to see. There were even pictures of me stolen from the social media profiles I actually use! The worst part? It was obvious that someone had used my name to create the accounts and post some VERY provocative photos and updates.

Luckily, after finding out about them, I was able to get those accounts removed.

Believe it or not, that’s not even the worst of it. Five years ago, I was a senior in college, just trying to have a good time. I ended up having too much of a good time: one night out, I was arrested for public swearing and intoxication (a misdemeanor), and spent the rest of the night in jail. I was released the next day and paid a fine. I never thought much about the incident, chalking it up to being “young and dumb.” That is, until I saw the record of my arrest on Neighbor Who. I knew I had made a huge mistake that night, but I didn’t think it would come back to haunt me so many years later. And who knows how this has affected my life since, without my knowledge? Have my coworkers seen this? Does my boss know? What if my boyfriend finds out, and asks why I never shared this information with him before? Now, if anyone confronts me about my arrest, I know exactly how to explain what happened.

Then, I got curious about what Neighbor Who could find about all the other people I knew: my neighbors, my friends, my parents, my boyfriend, my ex… There were so many people I wanted to look up (and luckily, I could run unlimited searches). I started with a friend’s girlfriend.

"A quick search on Neighbor Who revealed that she is actually married, and her husband had recently filed for bankruptcy — facts that my friend clearly wasn’t aware of."

My friend suspected for a while that a woman he met online has a shady past, but was never able to gather evidence of it. Shortly after meeting on a dating site, she never wanted him to come to her apartment or meet her friends, and often asked to “borrow” money. He liked her so much that he never wanted to question why she was hiding information about her life. A quick search on Neighbor Who revealed that she is actually married, and her husband had recently filed for bankruptcy — facts that my friend clearly wasn’t aware of. He quickly confronted her, and she confirmed the findings. I know I helped save my friend from worse heartbreak down the road, and potentially worse.

My ex was another interesting case. After a few months of dating, he mysteriously disappeared overnight, and I quickly learned from social media that he had moved a few states away without telling me. I sent him a dozen text messages asking him why, but he did not respond, so I gave up on trying to figure out what really happened. My Neighbor Who search revealed that he had been charged with a drug-related offense that year, which was why he had to move back in with his parents. He also had a new phone number, which explained all the unanswered texts.

Scam Phone Calls Lose Americans $8.6 Billion

Updated at 12:50pm on March 2nd, 2017

  • Tags:
  • Criminal Records
  • Reverse Phone Lookups
  • Background Check
  • Phone Number

Americans lost $8.6 billion to phone fraud in 2014. Make sure you're not one of them.

Telephones are a major source of abuse and fraud. Neighbor Who’s reverse phone lookup service can help you identify who is trying to reach you, but it’s also important that you understand the ways that phone calls can financially and emotionally disturb you.

Sales Calls:

A more dangerous call is the scam phone call. There are a wide variety of scam phone calls, but they all involve trying to get financial information or money from you. Charity scams are when people represent themselves as legitimate charities seeking contributions, but the callers are not linked to the charity or the charity itself is fraudulent. Legal scams threaten civil or criminal legal action unless you take certain steps. Lottery scams say that you’ve won a prize, but ask for financial information to secure your winnings. Work from home scams offer to provide training or job opportunities, but without an actual attached job. Finally, false banking alerts suggest that one of your accounts has had fraudulent activity and asks for identifying financial information to remedy the problem.

"I received a call saying I won $250,000. It seemed too good to be true, but it just sounded so real."

Unwanted Personal Calls:

Hate to get sales phone calls? We do and we try to avoid them, but sometimes it seems like some companies just ignore the Do Not Call Registry. What may be the most challenging part of a sales call is that many of us have been raised to be polite, rather than assertive, and many telemarketers are taught to take advantage of those good manners. Knowing a phone call is a sales call can help you avoid sales calls in two ways: first, you can choose not to answer the call; second, you can contact the company and inform them that you are on the Do Not Call Registry and ask them not to call you.

Almost all of us have dealt with unwanted personal phone calls. Perhaps it’s an ex who calls from different numbers. Maybe it’s a stranger calling from multiple numbers in a persistent stalking pattern. Using Neighbor Who’s Reverse Phone Lookup to identify who owns a number can help you decide whether to answer a call and can also be an important way to help build up a record of stalking or harassment.

Debt Collection Calls:

The final category of unwanted call is debt collections. There are some pretty basic rules outlining what type of behavior is legal for debt collectors, but many debt collectors step well outside of those boundaries. Using Neighbor Who’s Reverse Phone Lookup service may help you identify how to contact debt collectors to direct them to contact you in writing, rather than on the phone.

Give Neighbor Who a try and see what you find out. To run a reverse phone look up now, click here.

Try it yourself and see what you find out. Just search your name or someone you know, click here.

How to Easily Avoid the Biggest Internet Scams

Updated at 12:50pm on March 2nd, 2017

  • Tags:
  • Safety
  • Criminal Records
  • Social Profiles
  • Background Check

"I spent $200 on tickets to a concert that turned out be fake. I'm apparently one of over 5,000,000 people who fell for the same trick."

There are many things we can do to make ourselves safer when engaging in internet transactions. The first thing to do is to become aware of the common scams that people engage in on the internet. Craigslist scams tend to focus on people offering goods and services, because those are the people who tend to be placing the ads. These include rental scams, car buying or selling scams, ticket scams, job scams, and fake guarantee scams. Rental scams tend to target potential tenants and can be run in a variety of ways. In many of these scams, the alleged landlord has no link to the property that is being shown, but is collecting deposits and rent in an effort to fleece people. Car sales scams can either be on the buying side or the seller side.

Scamming sellers may have no title to the car that they are selling, while scamming buyers may attempt to defraud sellers of a vehicle by passing checks or money orders that are no good. Ticket scams involve selling tickets that are no good, whether because they are counterfeit, duplicates, or tickets that have been canceled. Job scams tend to be people offering jobs that do not exist, but saying that the person needs to pay for training or an application fee. Finally, guarantee scams are based on a fraudulent guarantee by the internet site, complete with an authentic-appearing email backing up the guarantee.

In May, a woman lost $4,700 by buying a fake used car in a fraudulent vehicle-selling scheme.

The first two steps to avoiding scams on Craigslist are to insist on in-person transaction and insist on cash in the transactions. However, these two steps can still leave a potential purchaser vulnerable. Neighbor Who can help fill in some questions and help avoid some scams by helping identify the actual owner of property, helping verify identity, and matching phone numbers and addresses to their owners. It can also help identify sellers or buyers with criminal records, which might inform your decisions about meeting to exchange goods or services.

eBay scams differ from Craigslist in that the scammers are more likely to be buyers than sellers and that scammer may try to use eBay’s affiliated payment system, PayPal, to further their scams. There are steps you can take to avoid being scammed on eBay, many of them involving eBay’s user rating system. Highly rated users with long histories of transactions may make you feel more confident in your sales. Unlike Craigslist, where cash is one way to protect yourself from scams, it is unusual for eBay users to only use cash or money orders for their transactions. Neighbor Who can help fill in some questions and help avoid some scams by helping identify the actual owner of property, helping verify identity, and matching phone numbers and addresses to their owners.

Neighbor Who is a monthly subscription service. Try it yourself and see what you find out. Just search your name or someone you know, click here.

10 Reasons You Need to Search your Date Now!

Updated at 12:50pm on March 2nd, 2017

  • Tags:
  • Dating
  • Safety
  • Criminal Records
  • Social Profiles
  • Sex Offenders

Americans lose millions of dollars to online dating scams each year. Run a background check before its too late.

Since the beginning of time, people have been misrepresenting themselves to seem more attractive to others. However, the internet has created incredible new opportunities for dishonesty and fraud. Its easy to present a misleading story about yourself on dating sites or Facebook. Running a background check using Neighbor Who is an easy way to gain more peace of mind.

You may think that running a background check is the least romantic thing that you could do. We absolutely disagree. In fact, we can easily think of ten things that are less romantic and more dangerous than running a background check on a potential date:

  1. Going on a date with a married person who claims to be single.
  2. Falling in love with an imaginary person.
  3. A date with a history of sexual violence.
  4. A date with a history of domestic violence.
  5. Dating a deadbeat dad or deadbeat mom.
  6. Catfishing.
  7. Finding out your spouse is online and trying to date other people.
  8. Dating someone who is bankrupt, or only interested in your money.
  9. Going on a date only to be robbed or victimized.
  10. Finding out that your date has children that they don’t admit to.

These are some of the many ways internet dating creates opportunities for abuse. Unlike traditional dating scenarios, when you meet someone online you rarely have a common group of friends to identify red flags. Instead, with online dating, you are only left with your judgment.

"I had met a very shy guy online who was reluctant to tell me personal information. I searched Neighbor Who and it turns out he had lied to me about where he lived and his actual family. You really just never know."

Background checks can help avoid the list of dating horrors above. Using Neighbor Who, you can run a background check to find out important information about a potential date. A quick search can you provide information about marriages and divorces, and determine whether someone is actually single. A search can help you determine whether someone actually exists or is just creating or stealing another persona (while some people may have a minimal public record presence, few real people will have no public record). This will prevent you from being catfished, where people steal others’ identities to create dating profiles.

Neighbor Who’s Criminal Background checks can reveal convictions for sexual assaults and domestic violence, and sometimes arrests for those crimes that did not lead to convictions. A search of civil records can help you find out if a person has children, and if they are current in their obligations towards those children. A Neighbor Who background check that reveals a history of fraud or property offense may be a red flag that a potential date is interested in your money, not in you as a person. Finally, Neighbor Who can help keep you from being catfished.

Try it yourself and see what you find out. Just search your name or someone you know, click here.

Why are Some People Hard to Find Online

Updated at 12:50pm on March 2nd, 2017

  • Tags:
  • Safety
  • Criminal Records
  • Social Profiles
  • Background Check

A lack of a public record may serve as a big red flag that the person you're searching for is not who he or she appears to be.

We're confident that Neighbor Who is an excellent background check service, but sometimes you do a search and you still can’t find who you’re trying to find. There are a few different reasons that this could occur. Some of the reasons are due to innocuous explanations, such as the person not establishing a public record or the material not being digitized. In other cases, the lack of a public record may serve as its own red flag that, perhaps, the person is not who he or she appears to be.

First, is the person you’re trying to find an adult? Public records are generally going to be in the name of a homeowner, the person responsible for paying the bills, etc. If a person is a minor or a young adult who is still financially dependent upon parents, then it is entirely possible that his or her information is not going to be part of the public record. Even older adults may avoid having their information become public if they live with roommates, have utilities in other names, and use disposable phone services. For younger people, the fact that they aren’t in the public record isn’t really a red flag; in many ways, it is to be expected. However, for older people, a total lack of a public record can serve as its own red flag, especially if your introduction to that person came later in life. While not impossible, it is somewhat rare for someone to entirely avoid having some information in the public record.

"I have friends calling me to find people for them and when I do, they can't believe that I did because they say they had no luck. They come back and ask me how I did it and I tell them I used Neighbor Who."

The next question to ask is whether the person is who they claim to be. One reason that Neighbor Who may be unable to locate the person that you’re seeking is that the person does not exist. The person may be using an alias. In other instances, the explanation may be far less nefarious. The person may be shaving a few years off of a birthdate in order to appear younger or using a nickname. If so, then a search using the known information may not return any results. Expanding search parameters may help you find the information that you’re seeking. Using Neighbor Who’s People Search function with expanded possibilities for first name or date of birth might even help you narrow down the missing person.

Sometimes, you know the person’s identity is accurate, and you even know that there is some public information available about them, but it did not show up in a Background Check. The easiest explanation for these omissions is that a Neighbor Who Background Check or Criminal Background Check is going to focus on material that has been digitized. If it has not been digitized, then it’s not going to show up on a standard background check. However, if you need access to documents that have not been digitized, Neighbor Who offers a service that most on-line background check companies do not; real, live court-runners. These court-runners can held down to courthouses or country clerk offices to search for records in person, giving you access to documents that have not yet been digitized, without requiring you to go to a courthouse in person.

Try it yourself and see what you find out. Just search your name or someone you know, click here.

But it’s not all bad. I also looked up the names of some family members I never met. Although I knew these people existed, I didn’t know how to reach out to them. I looked up the name of a cousin I had never spoken to and found her phone number and social media profiles. I messaged her, and luckily, she responded. We set up a time to meet over coffee — I was able to meet her parents, too! And just the other day, I saw on social media that a friend was having a personal crisis: her social media updates were worrying and I tried reaching out to her, but she refused to respond to my messages. I was so worried for her safety that I decided to look up her mom on Neighbor Who to find her contact information. Once again, Neighbor Who came through: I found her phone number and told her that her daughter didn’t seem to be doing well. Because I was able to reach out to the right people, my friend got the help she needed.

"But don’t take my word for it — today’s society is proving that safety is a number one issue."

I probably wouldn’t be able to be as informed as I am now without Neighbor Who. All you need to do is search a name, and then available information about that person appear almost instantly. Whenever my friends go on dates with a new person, I always do a quick search on Neighbor Who to make sure they’re being safe. And that’s not all: you can also search for phone numbers, addresses, and emails. I hate letting calls go to voicemail, but I don’t feel bad about it when Neighbor Who helps me confirm that those calls are coming from spammers.

But don’t take my word for it — today’s society is proving that safety is a number one issue. Spam calls and blind dates are only examples: you never know who you’re really spending time with, who you’re talking to online, or who you can really trust around your family. Did you know that about 1 in 3 Americans have some kind of criminal record? Or that approximately 95% of sexually abused children are abused by someone they know and trust? It’s easier to believe that we live in a world in which we’ve successfully weeded out all the threats to our families and ourselves, but the truth is that it’s best to be aware and prepared. I use Neighbor Who way more than I thought I would, and I’m thankful that the information available can help me make the best decisions for me and my loved ones. And if you’re a little freaked out that Neighbor Who has all this data, just know that it’s all public information regardless — the site just puts it in one place so it’s easier and faster to find. The site prohibits users from using their reports for malicious reasons, and highly encourages everyone to use them to stay safe and informed in their daily lives. I can definitely say that I feel better about many decisions that I make now because I can search anyone on Neighbor Who.

Even if you can’t think of a reason why you’d want to know about a person’s criminal record or find out their contact information, it’s okay to just be curious. In fact, I highly encourage it: you never know what you’ll find. Try it out for yourself and see how Neighbor Who can benefit you every day — you won’t regret it!

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