USA Today

USA Today: With my cell-phone number, a private eye found 150 pages on me

I gave my cell number to private investigator Thomas Martin, a former federal agent and now president of Martin Investigative Services in Newport Beach, Calif., and asked him to do his thing. A few days later a three-pound, 150-plus-page dossier arrived at my front door via FedEx. Martin didn’t trust regular mail given the nature of what it contained, which was tons of my private information.

“We didn’t even scratch the surface,” Martin told me later. He also made a point of telling me that I was “cleaner than a Safeway chicken.”

USA Today

USA Today: You’re sharing your cell phone number too frequently

No matter what Americans do to protect their digital privacy, especially on our handheld devices, it’s impossible to keep up with new threats. Now, there’s a new risk to our privacy and security: Our cell phone numbers are being used increasingly by information brokers as the window to personal information that’s kept by nearly all corporations, financial institutions, and, yes, social media networks.

Among those sounding the alarm bell is private investigator and former Drug Enforcement Agency agent Thomas Martin, who recently wrote a blog post titled, “Your cell phone number is your new Social Security number.” Martin’s message was clear: We are way too lackadaisical about keeping our numbers private.