LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With a record amount of scams during the COVID-19 pandemic, privacy online is more critical now than ever.
But how can you get your personal information off the internet? 8 News Now spoke with an expert about what you can do to take back control.
Mark Kapczynski with OneRep helps consumers and businesses scrub their personal information from the internet, a need that has only grown as fraud reached record levels during the pandemic.
The most common type of fraud involved online shopping, but there was a surge in phone fraud, with calls and texts regarding missed delivery of packages, as well as dating scams — scammers creating fake online profiles and asking people for money once they gain trust.
“It’s truly worse than ever,” Kapczynski said. “It’s become more and more of a burden for the consumer to just try and stay safe.”
Kapczynski said that identity thieves can buy or sell your personal information on hard-to-find dark websites and forums.
Something you sign up for, like a sweepstake, can potentially put all your personal information up for grabs. Information gets sold behind the scenes in bulk by large companies to what are known as “people-search” websites.
“Spokeo, My Life, Instant Checkmate and others, there are about 150 of these sites, purely scams,” Kapczynski said. “They have your family, your relatives, it completely enables a fraudster to put a whole picture together of who you are, they have all the details, and can answer all the questions.”
Here’s what you can do: you can purchase a plan from a company like OneRep that constantly monitors and scrubs your information from the internet. You can get free dark web monitoring as well as financial and credit monitoring with the top credit bureaus.