Fraud is a Reality
There are dozens of groups out there purporting to do genealogy research...for a price. One Dutch researcher charges $100/hour to silly Americans who are willing to pay it. In return, there is no documentation returned, just an email with some vague information gathered from directories and telephone books. OOPS.
Over the past few years, one less than scrupulous couple gleaned information from genealogy bulletin boards and attempted to sell it to others who were researching the same surname. It's ironic that someone would try charging us for information we posted ourselves.
But the hardest fraud happens when information on living people is posted. There are several attempts to defraud the elderly with claims of being long-lost children, and there have been attempts to gather information on elderly people in small communities and use the genealogy research to find out enough about these people in order to get closer to them.
As a result, be careful never to post or share any information with anyone which can be used to identify the living. Social Security numbers, dates of birth and mother's maiden name are about all anybody needs to open a person's finances. Sadly, a few too many genealogists have unwittingly shared this information with "new-found relatives" without a second thought.
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