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Police warn about geneology site listing you family's numbers, addresses

Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 21, 2017

It bills itself as an online journey to discover your family tree. But what it reveals about you has people stunned.

"Consider this an open window to your life," says Lt. Mike Shaw with the Michigan State Police.

He and his officers were downright frightened by the site, its accuracy, and accessibility.

"This is free," says Shaw.

And that means just about anyone can simply plug in a name and home state, and boom: a person's entire family tree appears.

Your name, spouse and children, current address, every address you have ever had, and every phone number too.

Familytreenow.com is what its called. And understandably, it has many in law enforcement circles concerned.

When asked how many officers found themselves on the site, Shaw responded, "All of us."

He continued, "It went through our department pretty quick, where everyone started looking up and couldn't believe the actual amount of information."

It is a stalker or disgruntled person's playground - folks police come in contact with on a daily basis.

"Not everybody we have contact with is going to be best friends with us after its all over with," says Shaw.

The state police aren't alone.

Haven, a domestic violence center, was made aware of the site by the 7 Investigators, and they have taken action to inform and educate not only employees but victims on the risks of the site.

"It is a way for abusers to find victims," says Amna Osman, CEO of Haven. "Its one place where you can find everything and its free."

She says technology and sites like Family Tree have created a new labyrinth to work around.

"Its really about linking people in a positive way and finding each other, but a lot of people misuse that," she says of the site.

The site does have an opt out feature.

Its simple, but takes a few steps.

Log onto the site, scroll to the bottom and click on 'privacy'. Once there, scroll through the fine print and click on 'opt out'. Then fill in personal information. A profile should be removed within 24 hours or so.

We attempted to locate the operator of the site for comment and were unsuccessful.