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Black Out

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Identity theft has been making headlines for quite sometime now. Thieves sometimes find very unique ways to steal your personal information, and sometimes we do a lot to help them without even knowing it. Like just throwing away our bank and credit card statements in the trash, complete with our account numbers and even social security numbers.

Now there's a product that promises to help make it almost impossible for crooks to get that personal information. It's called the BlackOut and it's suppose to stamp out and cover all your personal information. This week I'll "Try It Before You Buy It'  to see if it works!

The 'BlackOut' is a pretty simple product. It looks like any typical ink stamp but this one is made to conceal whatever information it's stamped on top of. I used some old statements of my own to test. It took three times stamping on my name and address to get it completely covered and that seemed to at least black out the info from the front, but does it block out the info completely? I tried putting the invoice up to the light in an attempt to see if my personal information was visible. And it looked pretty good, I couldn't make out any of my personal information.

The 'BlackOut' also claims to be good at stamping out your address on those magazine return labels, but again, you have to stamp it more than once for it to work!

My producer wanted me to check the ability of the 'BlackOut' to cover up writing that's printed in red or blue ink. So I wrote my name down first with a red sharpie and then with a standard blue ink pen. Then I stamp....and stamp....and yes...stamp again! After testing it on red ink and blue ink I find it doesn't do very well, as a matter of fact after stamping several times on both of the signatures you can still see right through it!

On to the claim that the 'BlackOut' is so good you can 'can't even wash the ink away to see what's underneath! I took the 'BlackOut' to our kitchen and tested that claim with a damp paper towel. After a few swipes of the damp paper towel, whoa! The ink completely wipes away leaving all of my personal information right there for anyone to see...and use!!

After testing the 'BlackOut' it seems the only thing its actually going to black out is about ten dollars off your checking account. After testing the ability to withstand water, l lost all confidence in the product really protecting my personal information. It does do well on just stamping out information from view, but as far as making it permanent? The water test proved that not to be the case.

After my story aired, I did receive an email from a viewer who claims that the 'ID Guard Stamp Plus' works much better. Maybe we'll test that one on a future 'Try It Before You Buy It'!

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