Madison County, IL – Have you noticed an increased amount of junk mail, sales calls during dinner or scams on your telephone over the past 19 months? We now know one reason why.
In February 2011, two months after Madison County Recorder Matt Rice took office, he made the decision to start selling copies of Madison County Real Estate Transfer Forms on disc to companies whose sole purpose is to resell the information.
One of the companies, Illinois Land Sales Bulletin, was contacted to see how easy it is to get personal information of Madison County residents and, without any identification, a phony company was able to get names, addresses, telephone numbers and more in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered.
Four months of names were acquired through a brief effort but each month since February 2011 a new disc with more than 1,000 different people listed has been sold. Each disc was sold to Illinois Land Sales Bulletin for $50. In addition to contact information, these forms also include signatures, wealth prospect information and questions identifying age all of which are pieces criminals use to steal identifications.
To be clear, these documents are public record and copies can be purchased at the recorders office for $1 per page and are typically 2 to 3 pages in length. It would take great effort and expense for businesses out of the area to come to Madison County and acquire this information inside the secured government building. Matt Rice has made it easy and cheap for them to resell Madison County residents’ information over and over to any junk mail company, scam artist or business that has no interest in Madison County.
Madison County residents can call 618-207-3300 for recorded information or email DoNotSellMeOut@gmail.com to ask for further information.