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Senior Button Pusher
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was just wandering around on the city's website and stumbled onto this page...
https://www.tampagov.net/webapps/default.aspx?page_id=1

Where you can apparently look up anyone's city water bill information, so long as you merely know their address. There's no password or other mechanism to keep anyone from knowing your account number, bill amount, consumption habits for the past year. Everything on your personal bill, anyone in the world can see online by simply looking.

This matters because with this information, you would know if someone is a snowbird or not, and when they are out of the area (and then jack their place). You would also be able to order someone's water shut off, or the mailing address for their account to be changed without them even knowing about it. You would know if they are behind on their water bill, a basic life necessity, thereby strongly indicating that they are in financial straits. I'm sure bill collectors would love to know about this free skip tracing tactic.

As a test, I picked a local celeb's name out of thin air, looked him up on the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's site to get his address, and blammo I could see his bill no problem. (on an aside, the dude uses roughly 10x more water than I do every month. 300 cu/ft versus 3300 cu/ft)

I can't believe the city has it set up like that!



Is it just me, or is this messed up?
 

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Property tax records are public - and, if you think about it, probably have to be so you know if you are being taxed fairly compared to comparable property, etc.

On the other hand, not sure why the water bills are public.
 

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Designer, 1404designs
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Florida has one of the most open records laws in the country so it doesn't surprise me.
 

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Senior Button Pusher
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^Too bad they didn't use it to order some service disconnections... I bet we would get a password screen asking for the customer's date of birth or something as a password.

I for one, will be making a stink about my personally information being made public, as I am highly opposed to anyone being able to go look up my water consumption and bill payment habits.
 

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^^
I found that out months ago while looking up my dad's record to see if I could pay online for him b/c he's living in Europe & is trying to sell his house in South Tampa. Unfortunately, the city will go as far as requiring the credit card be in the same name as the accountholder so I couldn't make the payment by credit card. I had to do it by snail mail and check.
 

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^^
the city will go as far as requiring the credit card be in the same name as the accountholder so I couldn't make the payment by credit card. I had to do it by snail mail and check.
I think you are wrong my friend, the water bill at my place is in my roomates name and I pay it using my card every month.
 
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