Planet Money
1:16 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Another Reason To Watch What You Say on Facebook

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:50 pm

Credit bureaus are exploring using social media to suss out your creditworthiness. Bloomberg reports:

Users of Facebook, Pinterest Inc. and Twitter Inc. share personal details every day through public postings, status updates and location check-ins. That information is proving useful in validating identity, evaluating whether to make a loan and sniffing out fraud that cost U.S. online retailers $3.5 billion last year, according to CyberSource Corp.

Equifax is teaming up with governments, both state and federal, to help detect whether citizens who are receiving benefits are truly eligible. The bureau must verify identity, state of residence, whether a criminal history exists and income level, an area where [Rajib Roy, president of Equifax Identity and Fraud Solutions] says social media has potential.

Consumers may share photos of new cars they've purchased on Facebook, check in on expensive flights and post pictures of items they own on Pinterest, all data that may help indicate if a person is being truthful about disposable income, he said.

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