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Your family information could be listed on public genealogy site; here’s how to opt out

WETHERSFIELD -- An ancestry website is causing privacy concerns and the Wethersfield Police Department is using Facebook to warn residents about using it.

The website is meant to help you track down your family’s history but is causing some privacy problems. Police said criminals are using www.familytreenow.com to find information about where you live, information about your family and their contact information.

Other websites, like WhitePages.com, charge users for certain public records, like address information. But, on Family Tree Now addresses are listed for free.

Wethersfield Police Chief James Cetran calls the site "one-stop shopping for the identity thief."

Chief Cetran said he heard about the website from an investigator in Florida. He is encouraging users to opt out of the site publishing their data. He added that charging for record information, as other websites do, acts as a deterrent.

"That kind of weeds out the casual looker," said Cetran. "But this one gave a lot of information right up front."

He said making the information readily available makes it easier for thieves to find your information.

"The more information that a criminal has that [they] can get from public information, the more chances you have of actually being a victim of identity theft," said Cetran.

After seeing the posting on Facebook, Wethersfield resident Marcus Wilhelm went and opted out himself, his mother and his brother. "

[It's] amazing and shocking what you can find with very little searching on your own name," said Wilhelm.

Wilhelm said the site posted information about his in-laws, as well as all of his current and former addresses.

To opt out of your personal records being published on Family Tree Now click here.