July 10, 2007

A couple of months ago, my co-worker David came to me with a question. Our boss, Dan, wouldn't tell him his birthday. David asked if I could find it for him. I ended up finding it through a public-records search provider called PeopleFinders. It cost $10 to get our boss's birthday, address, phone numbers, previous residences, and relatives' names. (For about $40, I could have dug even deeper.) Dan was amazed and a little frightened when we brought up his birthday at lunch, sprinkling in references to the other data I bought. He confirmed that most of what PeopleFinders gave me was correct, but some of it was vague (e.g. phone numbers without an area code).

I split the cost of this inquiry with David, so I got a bit of amusement for five bucks. I'm a little unnerved about the promotional mail I get from PeopleFinders now, though. One recent campaign arrived, twice, with the following text:

Jason,

Whether you meet them by the pool, at a ball game or even camping, the fascinating people that you encounter on vacation can be the highlight of your summer. With any new relationship, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Comprehensive Background Checks feature information from 12 different databases and can bring you up to speed on anyone you meet this summer. Therefore, if you are going on vacation, make sure to purchase a Comprehensive Background Check from PeopleFinders.com.

The ad is accompanied by three pictures of hot women, but as far as you or I know they are potential terrorists. If you know anyone who would purchase a comprehensive background check on everyone they meet, stay far, far away.