A few weeks ago I was reading an online article talking about one online background investigation website that seems extremely thorough in the records it can dig up about you.
The reporter at the time was surprised/impressed or shocked at how much dirt they dug up on his own test of the site.
I got curious and went over to the site to see what was up. There was a suggestion that I could get a free introductory BI (Background Investigation) for checking the place out.
Also, at the same time, I decided to use my spam email account. You know the one… I use it when I am doing online contests, or say, testing some business offers, or even communicating with Craigslist ads. I never use my own personal email for crap like this.
Up until now, my spam email account has been pretty boring, averaging five or ten junk emails per month over the last few years.
So I went off to this BI site, went through the hurdles of a report, which, per the site, or at least seemingly, it kept me waiting for a very long time while it “ran” its course of looking me up.
For all I know it was saying one thing, then setting off a stopwatch and keeping me waiting, considering how fast the internet can be. And there’s a reason I am saying this.
After going through the hoops of answering some questions, and sitting there like a fool, I did come to discover that the actual data mining process for my information was free. And it seemed somewhat legit, as it asked me some questions about if this person or another was someone I knew or not. (Then again, I can dig through phone book and property tax parcel websites and dig up the same info, considering the questions they were asking me were similar.)
And the report WAS FREE TO RUN. But if I wanted a copy, I needed to pay or give them my financial information first or signing up for a free trail account. I’m not sure which, but I remember shaking my head and pushing back from the desk on my wheeled chair, saying CRAP NO!
My problem was that I did not keep enough records to prove what website I went to, what web browser I used or the amount of time it actually took to “conduct” my BI. Yep, I got lazy.
But when I did a web search of BI websites, only one popped up with a history of my visiting it, so my presumption is that it was this particular site. But since I’m not sure, I don’t think that in good conscience, I should point fingers.
Wait, what does this all have to do with junk email Bruce?
Oh… yea, that part.
Well, after having a substantially quiet run with my junk email account, I’d say I am now averaging 30 or more spam emails a day and this BI check site was the only funky/new/test process I had tried in recent times. A month after my test of this BI site, you can imagine what my spam folder alone looked like. (BTW, GMAIL is great at at least filtering out spam into their junk folder, versus Yahoo.)
So WTH folks? I guess if you don’t pay up, you’ll be paying up in a different way. But what’s funny about this process is that even though they had all my info, the junk mail account I use has triggered some kind of automatic name definition process so some spammers think I have a different first name and almost all my junk is addressing me by this other name.
Any way, just thought you should know about this if you like your inbox staying clean. Don’t fall for the BI sites and all their promises.