INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A website meant to help you track down your family’s history is causing some privacy problems. CBS4 has learned at least one local law enforcement agency has recently been alerted to Familytreenow.com.
Officials have been encouraged to remove their personal information as a safety precaution.
“The biggest problems with sites like this are it offers up an opportunity for criminals to steal people’s identities. It’s making it much easier.”
On the homepage of Familytreenow.com, users are asked to enter their first name, last name, and the state they live in. Within seconds, the search is completed. On the screen, is not only your name, age and past address, but also your family member’s information.
“You can see my grandpa who lives in Ohio, his information and my address, that’s creepy,” said Lindsay S, who lives in Indianapolis.
“It had my sisters, my dad, my mom, even my stepmom, my grandparents, my uncles, some of my cousins, and aunts,” said Rachel, who lives in Indianapolis.
According to the website, Familytreenow.com was launched in 2014. It advertises “having one of the largest collections of genealogy records anywhere and being 100% free to search.” Pugh feels the fact that it’s free is actually part of the problem.
“My biggest advice is go to the website and ask them to remove your information from the website,” said Pugh.
Under the privacy tab, there is a link to request your information be removed.