Family Tree Now lets anyone access your personal information free

Advocates encourage people to opt out of site
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 18:49:38-05

Anyone can access your personal information for free. A website that portrays itself as a genealogical research tool is scaring people because of this new revelation.

The site is called Family Tree Now. Warnings about it are going viral on social media since it allows strangers instant access to your home address, list of relatives and other information for free. 

At Carrollwood Barbershop, haircuts are cheap and opinions are free.

On Friday, people there were talking about Family Tree Now.

“That’s me right there,” said Austin Cornett, showing his personal listing on the site.

Tweets and Facebook posts about the site went viral this week after warnings were posted that the site disclosed home addresses of law enforcement officers, even though they weren't identified as cops on the site.

The site says it helps people trace their family trees by linking family members.

“There's my mom, my sister and my dad,” said Will Millwood, pointing out his relatives listed on the site.

That's my mother, that's my dad, that’s my brother,” said Brian Marinelli.

“Everybody… that's the whole tree there, leaves, branches, stems,” said Dan Marin.

We did discover an occasional mistake on the site such as relatives who have died or left families through divorce.

But we found most information was accurate.  

“They've got my current address,” said Marin, referring to Family Tree Now.

“We should all be concerned about it, but we should be particularly concerned if you're a victim of domestic violence and you're trying to keep yourself safe from your abuser,” said Mindy Murphy, CEO of Spring of Tampa Bay.

That organization helps domestic violence victims.

Murphy worries the site will be used by predators to stalk their victims.

“Other sites you have to pay," Murphy said."You have to register, you have to get an account. You have to pay some money, so you have to put skin in the game. This one, it all pops up for free. And that is a game changer when someone's trying to find out information quick.“

Murphy says everyone should opt out of Family Tree Now.

You can find your own listing and follow the steps to opt out here:

"Even if you opt out, there's no tool that's going to keep your information absolutely safe, so you need to remain vigilant,” said Murphy.

The I-Team reached out to the website for a comment, but didn't hear back from them.

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