Is your social security number at risk? County website still shows some numbers

PHOENIX - 90 million. That's the approximate number of images the Maricopa County Recorder's Office has recorded since 1871 -- give or take a couple million.

But it wasn't until 2005 that the state outlawed recording documents that had a social security number on them.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell says that in 2007 the company AmCad was hired to redact the existing numbers in the database.

But they didn't get all of them.

"We knew there would be some that we wouldn't be able to catch," said Purcell.

She estimates that 75 percent of the documents in the system were checked.

That, of course means, 25 percent probably weren't.

Jason Govan of Phoenix says his son's certainly wasn't.

"My oldest son and his mother's information were under that link on that website," said Govan.

He says he found out when a woman he had never met, tracked him down and told him.

"I was kind of in disbelief, so she sent me a text message with the name, birth date and social security numbers," Govan said.

Turns out she was the sister-in-law of Govan's biological father -- who he hadn't seen in 30 years.

We checked the county recorder's website, too.

In a few hours we found more than 30 social security numbers.

Some were on the same page as other blacked out numbers, others written in random spots.

We took them all to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office to be handled.

"We went back and redacted those documents, we can with anybody," said Purcell.

She says most documents don't have social security numbers on them.

Even so, you may want to do a search for your name, to see what comes up.

You can do that on the Maricopa County Recorder's Office website .

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