DoingHomework wrote:I've done the same thing - wrote a check for around $50k for a new car and drove off. Actually I've done that a couple of times. It is always a little surprising. But they should have looked at your DL at least to make sure you had one before letting you test drive. Either way though, these guys have insurance for that sort of thing and they have repo-men on speed dial. It's really not that big of a risk.
You would not believe what kind of information I could find about you with just a driver's license number! There is a lot of information freely available and a great deal more that one can get by paying $30 or so. I once had a job where I had to find out information on a few people. By spending $100 or so each I got very thorough and complete background and personal reports that detailed their lives since elementary school. This was entirely legal and for a legitimate purpose. For a few hundred dollars I could have known their daily routines, where they ate lunch, where they ran or walked their dog, and all sorts of stuff like that.
We were formulating a marketing message to win an enormous government contract. Some of these people were behind-the-scenes technical people and others were very high level officials, one step below cabinet level. We were not looking for dirt, we were looking for messages that would resonate - did they ski, did they grow up on a farm, etc. But we got all sorts of related information like the kind of car they drove, when they bought their house and what they paid, all sorts of stuff. We didn't get private financial or medical information or anything else protected by law. But we could get almost anything that was publicly observable. There are companies that provide this kind of service for lobbyists, attorneys, and for competitive intelligence.
... I have a question for you.
Exactly what kind of information were you pulling about people and how can you be sure that the companies that pulled the information for you were doing so in a legitimate manner? Also, where were THEY pulling their information?
I know public records are public records, but how in the world would you ever figure out if someone in particular likes skiing or likes eating out at a certain restaurant... unless said information was posted to a place like Facebook or Twitter or some ski resort or restaurant publicly posted a roster of their customers or if the paparazzi were nearby and snapped photos of them or something? I also know that advertising companies keep track of who responds to their ads and whatevers, but accordingly, those are always supposed to be anonymous and not attached to any names.
You're quick to reassure that what your company's done isn't to find dirt, but I'll be darned if that doesn't sound like spying... but just phrased in a more acceptable way... Just saying.
That is, of course, unless these people lead very public lives to begin with (updating statuses to FB, Twitter, photographed by paparazzi, blogged about by people who see them, etc).
I'm a bit concerned because I've been a victim of stalking before and it is NOT fun to have someone who has NO business rooting around for your information to be digging around. For this reason, credit reports and public records aside, there is very little publicly consumable information about me available to my knowledge... supposing you even knew my real name in the first place.
So what I would like to know is, where exactly is all the information being pulled from? Especially since you mentioned you could get a person's day-to-day for a few hundred more, I'd like to know how this is possible... unless, again, the people in question are simply high profile with publicly trackable timelines (like FB, Twitter, whatever).