I feel like an absolute fool. I'm sharing what just happened so you don't fall into the same trap.
Most immediate warning: DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO http://www.deathrecordsobituarysearch.com/!!!!!
The rest of this warning could apply to any similar situation.
Here's the story.
An anonymous blog visitor posted a comment on one of our posts giving high praise to http://www.deathrecordsobituarysearch.com/ as godsend for getting death records and such.
Warning #1: Don't accept anything that an anonymous commenter, e-mailer or whatever tells you.
I knew that. Honestly, I knew that. But for the last several weeks I've been looking for obituaries or any other records of death for members of my high school graduating class who reportedly are deceased. And I've also developed a renewed desire to know more about my genealogy.
My fervent desire to believe that this anonymously recommended search engine would readily help me clouded my judgement.
Warning #2: If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
At the Web site, you enter a way-too-simple search - only the first name and last name of the person whose records you seek - to get started. If this were a useful Web site, supposedly searcing death and obituary records around the world for hundreds of years, you'd at least need a middle initial, wouldn't you?
I entered a search anyway, fool that I am, for "Nancy Walters." I graduated from high school with Nancy Charlene Wilson, who by all accounts married some guy named Walters.
Her name is so common that I've had difficulty finding anything definite on her via the Internet. I found a Nancy Walters in SSDI who was a year younger than most of my classmates and who is listed as dying in October 1979. No specific date of death. I believe that's my Nancy, unless my Nancy's surname changed again before she died.
The recommended Web site boasted marriage records too. You get the picture.
Warning #3: Be wary if you have to pay without getting a free sample.
My search for Nancy Walters resulted in a "You must be registered" prompt. Okay. Saying who you are makes sense. But the various levels of registration all included making a payment for periods of time ranging from 3 days to 5 years.
Yep. Yours truly paid up.
Warning #4: Read the terms of the agreement. Don't simply print it out and click "I accept."
If I had read this very last item, I would have retreated immediately:
This website is for your own personal use only. You may NOT send automated queries to our system, republishing or redistributing any data on this website is strictly prohibited. Usage of this website and all information contained within is subject to West Bengal, India law. By accessing SearchMyRecords.com, you also certify and attest that you are NOT affiliated with any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. If you are, you are NOT permitted to proceed past this page and must leave this website immediately.
Warning #5: Don't read offers like that before you're fully awake.
I am so glad you posted about this company. I just had two posts on my blog from them. I was very suspicious and did a google search and found your experience. I deleted the postings but now I need to write a whole article about them too.
Well, I am an user with http://www.deathrecordsobituarysearch.com for over 2 years and I found the site really awesome. They keep some records that you can not imagine. I know my comment will not be approved here but keep one thing in mind- before you want to say something against anybody, you should know fully about them.
You have written something you have no idea about. Once I registered with the site. I searched there and got no result. I asked for immediate refund through their support system and they did. Although I have not found my desired result, but I can't be agree with you. The line you have written - "yep you are truly paid up" is totally misguiding to others.
As you can see, several comments have been deleted from this posting.
As administrator of this blog, I have left one comment that supports my "warning" post and two comments that disagree.
I believe that's fair.
I've deleted more than a dozen other comments, most of which became a dialogue between me and a persistent commenter whose purpose seemed to be to annoy me enough to remove the warning altogether.
The warning, which has been online since August 2008, will remain.
Comments - pro and con - that follow this one will be deleted unless they seem worthwhile.
Just went to the website and input my info and then at the last page I decided not to confirm/submit my order, just left the web site. My credit card was already billed without my permission. As there is NO phone number to contact these people, sent several emails with no response. Am reporting for fraud. CAB
I also was scammed by this website, hoping to find info about a deceased aunt. Not even able to find a phone number. Be warned not to lose your money.roa
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