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Take a moment to prevent identity theft

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  #1  
Old 03-28-2003, 10:37 AM
VisualEyes's Avatar
VisualEyes VisualEyes is offline
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Exclamation Take a moment to prevent identity theft

Hi. I know I've been out of retouch for several months now, but I felt compelled to take time to pass along this information.

I normally don't make a practice of recommending web sites to visit, but after reviewing this particular site I felt it is truly in everyone's best interest to visit this website and take a moment to protect yourselves from potential identity theft.

Steve Bass is an editor for PC World Magazine and is also moderator of the Pasadena IBM Users Group to which I belong. Steve is currently working on a story about electronic privacy. In his research he recently "discovered a chilling tool that's ideal for someone in the business of identity theft". That tool is a website called http://anybirthday.com/ . As a free service, anyone may enter your name and optionally the zip code you reside in and acquire your date of birth. For a fee, they may also obtain your home address. This information is compiled from public records.

I have tested several names and have found the results to be extremely accurate.

I highly recommend that you take advantage of the site's "Opt Out Option" (http://anybirthday.com/optout.htm) and thereby remove yourself, your family and friends from their database.

If you are interested in other issues regarding Identity Theft, please visit the US Government's central website for identity theft: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/ .

Regards,

VisualEyes
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:02 PM
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chiquitita chiquitita is offline
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If you wanted to do this with all the sites that find info on you, it would be quite tedious. This is hardly the only site that has info like this.
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Old 03-29-2003, 11:00 PM
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platscha@cs.com platscha@cs.com is offline
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did not work for me

I tried 7 different names and not one worked for me, tried mine and my kids and a friends, all different locals but no go.
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Old 03-30-2003, 10:16 AM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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VisualEyes, thanks for the heads up -- I wasn't aware of this or related sites. It worked for me for some relatives (some deceased). I wonder about the effectiveness of 'opting-out'.

There are no doubt other entrepreneurs out there selling "our" information -- a disturbing thought!
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Old 03-30-2003, 11:24 AM
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VisualEyes VisualEyes is offline
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Chiquitita - I agree that following up on all sites that have some type of info on you would be quite time-consuming. I was only recommending investing five or so minutes to knock one's self off of this particular free database. Knowing several people who have been victimized by identity theft, I feel troubled when I see something that freely provides the potential for a lot pain and inconvenience that could be avoided by a few mouse clicks and keystrokes.

Platscha - My coworkers and I found many listings under the wrong zip code. And we too found that a lot of people were simply not listed. Makes you wonder about the completeness and accuracy of public records.

C.J. - As a network administrator, I recieve tons of alarmist emails and forwards exclaiming over virus warnings, hoaxes, and other missives of FUD, so I really feel awkward when putting out such a message myself. But something about someone being able to obtain my address and date of birth just really gets to me.

FWIW, here's another scary (at least to me) use of public information: try putting your home phone number into the Google search prompt. If you're in their database (which 90% of the people I've shown this to are), it comes back with your home address and a link to MapQuest showing directions to your home (and even a fuzzy aerial view of your neighborhood). And yes, you can opt out of this database too.

Truman
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Old 03-30-2003, 12:18 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Quote:
try putting your home phone number into the Google search prompt -- VisualEyes
I use that often to check out Caller ID numbers of people who request my assistance in picking up a baby or injured bird (I volunteer with a wildlife group) to either get better directions or double check that it's a real address. I've used online public records to return a dog to neighbors who had moved from the address on their dog's ID tag. When I tell friends and neighbors what I can find out online, they are visibly surprised. They'd really be nervous if I told them what else I could find out online (court info, home purchases, liens, etc.) It's a good thing I'm an honest person.
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Old 03-31-2003, 06:39 AM
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chiquitita chiquitita is offline
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Many times, "opting out" as with "remove" in spam mail, just serves to verify that the info they have is correct, and makes it that much more valuable to sell to others.
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