Do You Owe Money? Then the Web is Not a Safe Place For You to Be

I was researching another story when I came across this banner advertisement aimed at collectors for a service called CLEAR by Thompson Reuters, the same folks that own the news service.

The advertisement said “Find the Debtor. Recover the Debt. CLEAR with cell phone listings & new numbers.” It was the cell phone comment that intrigued me. Granted, people chasing others to collect is an age old approach called skiptracing. But gone are the old days of reverse phone directories and instead we have the modern world of digital collections.

The CLEAR (Consolidated Lead Evaluation and Reporting) product by Thompson Reuters says it can provide information on cell phone numbers, utilities data, hunt people down on social networks, search blogs, news, chat rooms, watchlists, and more.

This tool, which seems to get the most coverage as a way to find missing kids, lost puppies, criminals and crooks is directed towards law enforcement customers. Apparently also come in very handy as a way to hunt down debtors as well. It is said to be able to locate other phone numbers for people other than cell phones. It says it can find VOIP phones, pagers, and provide carrier contact information for subpoena purposes.

The description seems to make references to the largest social network sites of Facebook and Twitter but also it appears they are using LinkedIn as well as other business network sites.

Results of this service are said to include screen names and email addresses of users and searches can be done as many as 10,000 records at once and searches over a trillion web pages. – Source

If you are interested in what information, searches, web history, and numbers, and facts Thompson Reuters has on you, you’ll have to pay $20 to find out.

Yes. You may request a statement of the information contained about you in Thomson Reuters, Legal public and non-public information databases. To ensure your privacy, we’ll ask for information verifying your identity. To request a statement, complete the Westlaw and CLEAR Personal Information Request Form and return it, along with a $20.00 check or money order and a copy of your driver’s license or government issued identification, to:

Westlaw and CLEAR Public Records
ATTN: D5-S400 – Personal Information Request
610 Opperman Drive
Eagan, MN 55123

Please make checks out to “Thomson Reuters”.

Please note: the copy of your driver’s license or government issued identification will be used only to verify your identity. These copies will be destroyed when the process is complete.

If you have questions about requesting your personally identifiable information, please send an email message to [email protected]Source

While there is a process for getting your information removed, it’s not as automatic as you’d like for it to be.

See also  My Friend's Cell Phone Company is Calling Me to Find Her. - Joe

Apparently requests for removal will be “evaluated on the merits” and are not automatic. The site says that it must be determined if the person requesting removal:

  • is a judge, public official or member of law enforcement; and/or
  • can provide evidence that the availability of his/her personal information on Westlaw and/or CLEAR exposes him/her to risk of physical harm; and/or
  • is a victim of identity theft.

If you decide you’d like to take a shot at getting your information deleted, point your browser over to the Westlaw and CLEAR Public Records Personal Information Removal Request Form and return it with the supporting documentation to:

Westlaw and CLEAR Public Records
ATTN: D5-S400 – Personal Information Removal Request
610 Opperman Drive
Eagan, MN 55123 – Source

Thompson Reuters create the CLEAR service, they inherited it. In 2008 ChoicePoint was required to divest itself of some products in an acquisition by Reed Elsevier Inc. Thompson Reuter was the lucky buyer of the product. – Source


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

2 thoughts on “Do You Owe Money? Then the Web is Not a Safe Place For You to Be”

Leave a Comment