Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm not that hard to find...

Shortly after I moved into my home, I had a man who would drive his black BMW down my street and park in front of my house.  He would stay there for 15-30 minutes and then leave.  He would come at different times of the day on different days of the week.  I didn't think a man in a BMW would be all about robbing a poor first-time home buyer so although I found it curious, I didn't worry.  Plus, I let Bailey bark all ferociously at him so I assumed I was safe.  Bailey can be 60lbs of menacing spaniel.

Remember when I was afraid that I owed the US Department of Education a truck load of money?  If not, read about it in this post.  Turns out it was due to a clerical error (which has been corrected) and the small fact that the DOE lost my address.

When I called the DOE (repeatedly) and finally got to talk to someone who didn't hang up on me they told me that they had used "skip tracing" to find me.  I didn't think much of it and assumed that "skip tracing" was just fancy term for "overpaid federal government temp who knows how to use google".  I haven't tried to hide.  A quick internet search and someone can find my home phone number, my address, how much I paid for my house (courtesy of local GIS websites), where I work, my blog, my nonexistent tweets, my Pinterest pins, and my LinkedIn profile.  In addition, I figured someone who had access to my Social Security Number (such as the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT) could find something called a credit report which lists all of my addresses.   

After the small clerical error was cleared up and it was discovered that I did not owe the money, I forgot about the entire ordeal.

And then I started reading Janet Evanovich's mystery novels about a bounty hunter.  If you haven't read them, a movie is coming out this weekend (with Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum.  It has "Academy Award" written all over it.  I'll go see it anyway).  Stephanie becomes a bounty hunter and refers to herself as a skip tracer.  And her mentor, Ranger, drives a black BMW.  My few misfiring neurons started to make some connections....these characters were skip tracers.  The government had hired a skip tracer for me.  I had been staked out by a man in a black BMW.  Ranger drove a black BMW. 


Great use of your federal tax money.  Much easier than Google....right?

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