Who Is Really Your "Friend" on Facebook? Have You MET Them?

By
Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty BK 3030920

I, as do many others, use a variety of social networks.

I have a tendency to use them more for business purposes, such as promoting new listings, or sales, price changes, my most recent blog, items of that nature.

I do get chastised occasionally from actual friends who want to see more of my non-work life, however!

A recent incident, however, made me re-think some of what I have been publishing, per se, and what information is available about me on the web.

I had a prospect contact me via a social network last year, and inquired about real estate. We never did get a chance to meet due to schedule conflicts, some more realistic than others. Easy come, easy go, was kind of what I thought.

Same prospect, different last name contacts me this year via a different social network. Same employer as well.

Long story short: I have never met this person, even though we both participated in a variety of the same social networks.  I'm not sure exactly when I started to feel uncomfortable, (maybe when he pulled down his Facebook page before I could block him? Or, was it the Linked In page?)  I googled myself and found a truly frightening website: www.spokeo.com.

Putting in my full name yielded a shocking amount of personal info, down to my astrological sign, the party I vote for and....

 

Wait for it....

A bird's eye view of my house, with my car in the driveway!

You can't find me on this site anymore, you can remove your listing, but I just had to share.  I don't live on a long street, and with my car in the drive, it's much too easy for someone I don't know to find me. 

Here's how you can pull your listing, should you desire: go to the site, find your profile, copy the URL, and then go to Privacy, and fill out the required form with the pasted URL of your profile, an email address and a provided Captcha code. This will remove you from the Spokeo site, but not necessarily the other public info aggregator sites out there, but I feel better knowing you have to hunt a little harder to get some of my info!

 

Posted by

Carol Zingone is a full service Broker Associate proudly affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty in Atlantic Beach, FL.  I help buyers and sellers locally, regionally, and internationally.  With hundreds of happy buyers and sellers over the course of my career, I'm thrilled to help first time buyers, military buyers, seniors, investors, 1031 exchange properties, short sales and REO's.  I have spent hours honing my expertise, including the designations of: Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Loss Mitigation Certification (LMC) , Short Sales, Foreclosures, REO's, (SFR), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).  I pride myself on providing excellent expertise to all buyers and sellers. Search the MLS via www.carolzingone.com  for Jacksonville and area listings!

 

Comments (39)

Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Carol ....Congrats on the feature ....very nice topic. Thanks for the useful info!

Have a Great Night!
Go Vols!

Nov 02, 2011 02:07 PM
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Carol....glad to see this got featured.  Thanks so much for sharing this information with everyone!

Nov 02, 2011 02:20 PM
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

I had to come back & add in that I went to do this.  I found myself but it had my old address - new owner's car in the driveway! - and other incorrect information but also some accurate information.  I removed it. 

Nov 02, 2011 02:28 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

 

Carol, This is downright WRONG!  Technology and social media are over-the-top.  Thanks for sharing this information with us.  I will check out the site and …. Pray I am not there!

 

Nov 02, 2011 04:39 PM
Eric Kodner
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes - Minnetonka, MN
Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island

We're encouraged to be public people, to share our hobbies and interests, to reveal ourselves in order to appeal to prospective clients.  But there is not enough information available to the public about how to insulate ourselves from the dangers of privacy invasion.

Nov 02, 2011 04:49 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Carol,  Sure enough ... I'm there: 

You wrote: Here's how you can pull your listing, should you desire: go to the site, find your profile, copy the URL, and then go to Privacy,

FYI to readers who may have been challenged finding the privacy page ... its at the bottom of the page in the footer.

 

Nov 02, 2011 05:05 PM
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

OMG that is scary stuff! I went and erased mine and then reblogged it and Tweeted it and FBed it! So scary! Thanks so much for letting us all know about it! 

Nov 02, 2011 06:01 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I've seen this before. The thing is, it seems to draw on previous addresses the last 10-15 years. A lot of misinformation, however. Because I used my previous broker's office address, it's appearing as my "residence".

 

Nov 02, 2011 08:27 PM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Carol--wow, that is scary.  I am going there right now and remove myself.  Thanks for the heads up. 

Nov 02, 2011 09:57 PM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Joshua: Most of these sites you have to pay for full info, but my relationship status, coupled w/ a photo of my house and my current car is not cool...and that was free, not pay-to-play info.

Mike: Thanks!

Rob: Thanks - I just had to share it when I found it, freaked me out!

Christine: You are lucky; several agents in my office reported the same thing, but for me, it was too current; it had my old address as well, and I pulled that down just because I could.

Kathleen: I AGREE! Thanks for clarifying where the Privacy HTML link is; my broker had trouble finding it as well.

Rosalie: Thanks for re-tweeting, re-FBing, etc; I imagine there are quite a few people who are not aware of this site.

Pacita: Another safety tip: don't have your home address programmed into your GPS; my GPS shows me living at another location, which is just fine. If someone were to steal my car, and go to "my"house, the garage door openers, and keys won't work.

Janet: Please pass along....thanks!

 

Nov 02, 2011 11:16 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I have friends I know and many I am clueless about. I use the sites for business but it looks like I need to check out this other site. Thanks.

Nov 03, 2011 01:15 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Carol, I wasn't aware of this site. Thanks for the info. I will check it out.

 

Nov 03, 2011 02:28 AM
Don MacLean
New England Real Estate Center Inc. - Easton, MA
Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton, Mass 02356

Carol, Kind of odd that most of the information ( all) is things we put out there ourselves and don't think twice about it....................

Enjoy the day until

Nov 03, 2011 03:37 AM
Ruth Jacobs
Quantum One Realty - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
North Palm Beach, Real Estate Specialist, CDPE, SF

This is just the beginning, We all need to be aware that the Internet is a very powerful tool and its advancing everyday!

Nov 03, 2011 04:04 AM
Carl Pruitt
FHA Loan Advice - Buford, GA
http://FHALoanAdvice.com

A person does have to be careful...just as they always have, but let's not panic. Although we hear of a few cases, the world isn't full of internet predators waiting to rob and kill us. In fact, there is actually statistically less chance of either of those happening to us than there was before the internet existed!

Nov 03, 2011 04:27 AM
Eric Proulx
RealEstate.com - Kirkland, WA

Agreed with Carl above me. While this is deifnitely useful advice at the same time we shouldn't panic too much.

Nov 03, 2011 05:28 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Carol:

WOW.  That is scary.  I haven't checked the website to see if I am there.  If I am, I will request that my information be removed.  Thanks for the heads up.

Nov 03, 2011 07:18 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Carol:

Found me and removed me.  Hope it works.  Do you know if they comb the internet to get the information, or do they use Facebook only?

Nov 03, 2011 07:28 AM
Kathy Lewellen
Quantum One Realty - Singer Island, FL
Condo Specialist, Singer Island

Great post, always assume when posting on the Internet that it is permanent and public ! 

Nov 03, 2011 08:35 AM
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Gary: I use most of my social networks for biz purposes, but this site had too much personal 411.

Michael: Check it out and pass it on.

Don: It's scary how much info we publish...check out your image profile on Google under images, you may be a bit surprised...

Ruth: I agree!

Carl & Eric: Let me know if you see pix of your house with your car, and then come re-comment again...

Evelyn: From what I gathered, it's a public records aggregation site, so they comb public records, it's not just Facebook.

Kathy: Wise words- thanks!

Nov 03, 2011 01:12 PM