It's 2018, and there are a lot of weirdos out there. The only way to beat them is by stooping to their level and stalking them until you find out the truth.
Yes, okay, that sounds incredibly creepy. But in defense of other young, single females, or even families, elderly people, and just about everyone else in the world, I need to tell you about this website that not only helps you uncover their lies (*lol*), but also makes it easy for other people to stalk you and your family. (Yikes.)
Before I go over the scariness of FamilyTreeNow.com, I'll keep light of it from the perspective of finding out if the guy you met on Tinder or Bumble is lying about his age.
Any savvy online dater would do this: look this guy up on Facebook (this is especially easy if you have mutual friends), which will tell you both his first and last name. If you're unable to find him on Facebook, google his first name, the city he spends most of his time in, and, if it's listed on his profile, his employer. If his employer is not listed, other search terms you could use might be "music," "doctor," "real estate," "games," "athlete," etc. depending on what his interests are. You'd be surprised by how much comes up in a Google search when you do that.
Are you scared yet? Okay, good. Let's continue.
Basically, you just go to FamilyTreeNow.com, which markets itself as a genealogy website. Fill out the basic information on the first page (his first name, last name, and city) and up pops all the possible people you're looking for. If multiple search results pop up, you'll usually be able to tell which guy or gal you're looking for. If no search results pop up, that might mean his last name is really something else. Or, he has read my article and removed his information from the website (which is possible, and I'll tell you how to remove your information in just a little bit).
Let's make this easy and say you found the guy. It should tell you his age, and in this case, let's assume he's not lying about his age. When you click on his search result, it'll tell you possible relatives (the names of his parents, kids, ex wife, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. will all be displayed), possible associated landlines and cell numbers will pop up, and all the addresses he's ever lived at will be displayed, too. You can use some of this information to validate whether you're looking at the correct guy's information, depending on your conversations with him and how much you know about him. If you didn't know a lot about him...well, now you do.
Can you see how scary this can get? Uh huh. If you have kids up there or you're trying to hide from someone (or everyone), all of that personal information is up there. The worst case is that predators can find out where your kids live, what their parents names are, and pick them up from school knowing what names to drop. For example, they could show up to school to pick up Jimmy and say, "Hey Jimmy, I'm Joanne's friend - your mom and I go way back. She asked me to give you a ride home today."
So here's what you need to do to get your family's information off of this website.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage of FamilyTreeNow.com and click "Privacy."
- Click "opt out here," which will appear as a blue hyperlink somewhere in the middle of the page by the bold text that reads "Opt Out of Living People Records."
- Check the box to confirm "I'm not a robot" and click the green button that says "Begin Opt Out Procedure."
- Fill out the information it asks for (name, city, state, birth year) and click "Search."
- When your information comes up, click the "View Details" button and then click the red button that says "Opt Out This Record."
It takes about 48 hours for your information to clear from the site, but you can immediately begin the process to remove your family members' information, too.
If you're worried about losing access to "valuable genealogical information" online, don't be. FamilyTreeNow.com is creepy and that's all it ever will be. If you're into genealogy, use a reputable service like Ancestry.com or records made accessible by the public library.
Want another way to find out if who you're talking to is legitimate? Try Pipl.com, where you can enter their phone number if you have limited personal information, and see if anything pops up. If nothing pops up, the number they're using might be a burner number used through a free texting app.
At best, you've now armed yourself with extra knowledge and insight on how to protect your family. At the very least, you've learned how to successfully catch online catfish or determine whether a guy is lying about his age, which I myself have discovered about two guys by using this website. Who knows, maybe your story will become the subject of an on air bit with Keri & Greg! Please tell me when to listen if that happens, and I'll make sure there's popcorn.