Yet, in spite of efforts, someone got my identity information.

Started by

I've known for years that identify fraud exists, that efforts need to be taken to protect my personal information, and have taken those efforts. For some reason I decided to check a phone number I used when staying at my sister's. I found much more than I intended.

In addition to that number and associated address, I also found my current address and phone number, family, including someone who was allegedly family but was unrelated. But more shocking was that all of this was provided on a site which also included my birthday.

I've always been circumspect in protecting my privacy, placing fraud alerts every 90 days, not giving out my birthdate except to medical providers or in tax filings. I have no idea where all of this information was collected or how my birthday was added. At least my SS number wasn't included.

Still, I've known for years that privacy breaches are compromised by greedy online website owners w/o any concern for the results to the individuals. But I feel so unsettled knowing that this information is so freely available. And worse yet, I'm not sure what I can do about it - if I knew the specific source I could give false information, but I have no idea where all this information was obtained.

I've known for years that identify fraud exists, that efforts need to be taken to protect my personal information, and have taken those efforts. Yet, in spite of that, someone got information on my birthdate. And I don't know how.

And I feel abused, and mad, very, very mad!


I should probably add that I've done everything I could to protect my personal information, including my birthday. I never buy anything online, I never provide information revealing that, or my SS, or any account numbers whatsoever. I don't conduct any financial transactions whatsoever online.

I've taken all the precautions I can, yet some website called "BeenVerified" has my birthdate and is making it available to anyone.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to find out where they get their information, what sources they pry into. It wouldn't surprise me if they're obtaining this information illegally.
Things like that really tick me off too, GA. Our neighbor said she looked us up online and it said we didn't live here. But she wouldn't say what site, or where it said we live! Since I helped her with all sorts of researched advice on identity theft when it happened to her, why wouldn't she give out this small helpful advice to me?
When AARP contacted me they had my birthday, same with any life insurance companies, or funeral services etc. Overall, we have been successful to be very private, but findable for legal. These sites do make errors, but sometimes I wonder just who initiates the information. Why is my fil located as a relative of mine, and not my husband's, for example.

To protect friends on here, do you think we should not give good birthday wishes on the day? Would that help, or am I being too careful?
Online search for privacy protection is available, one is "reputation defender" and I assume for a fee they can remove personal information.
I have never used them so wouldn't know if I should recommend anyone in particular. I have heard The tech Guy, Leo La Porte talk to Steve Gibson, (Security Now) and they discussed one of the ways these companies protect your privacy and reputation is to flood the internet with new info to hide the old info.

So maybe a plan to give false information would work, if there is lots of it?
I think they get the information from drivers license records and voting records. And property ownership records. I don't think you can avoid it by not disclosing information online. They don't get the info from anything you do, I don't think. I know this isn't very helpful, sorry. I just avoid googling myself to avoid getting upset.
Data breaches are in the news all the time. Wasn't it just a few years ago that even the IRS had a data breach? I don't think it is even possible to protect our information any more. Even credit card companies, mortgage companies, property managers require the info. When we purchase a car.
There are companies that gather demographic information and sell it to marketing companies. Since I am now 70, I am getting more and more junk mail for hearing aids, knee braces, walk-in tubs, canes, etc. Or the marketing company could be sweeping my whole subdivision because of the age of the houses they assume many original owners still reside.

I, too, like to keep my private life private. Couple years ago I "froze" my credit on all 3 of the major credit bureaus. That keeps people from trying to use my credit to purchase a house, car, or any consumer items that requires financing.

I noticed the only place where I am asked for my birth date is at the pharmacy. And doctor offices, now a days, want us to create portals so they can post health information regarding your visit. No way will I use such sites. I get all the info I need at my appointment.

My parents were so private, you'd think they were on the witness protection program.
I just typed in my given name into Google Search... lot of people with my name... but lo and behold there I was. Yikes, my unlisted telephone is there in plain sight plus my home address. Plus my age of 70, oh thanks.

I remember searching my professional name and found my name, address, and 3 male names living at my home address. Say what??? That's embarrassing. One search said I was related to 3 people... my ex-hubby, his wife, and his daughter. Ah, NOT.
Oh yes, I just recently did a Google search on my own name and othe family members, and I'm all over the place! I have no idea how to get that info off of there, so if anyone comes up with any good ideas, please share!

I'm assuming, since we've lived in this same house for over 20 years, and in the area all our lives, mortgages, and even had the sme phone number for 30 years, that it a compilation of all of this, and there's no getting around it.

For So long, we didn't purchase anything online, but even we succumbed to the easy manber in which to buy good for simplicity sake.

Checking with the 3 credit bureaus is a good, at least once per year, but even these arw difficult to understand! I haven't put any blocks on our credit yet, but it may have to come to that!

Fortunately, we haven't yet become victims of fraud, but I know many people who have!

It's a terribly unsafe world to live in anymore for this reason!
Facebook doesn't help. People forget when they are bragging about going on a 2 week trip that they think they are writing to just their friends, instead of the whole world.

I never had a Facebook account, nor Twitter, nor Instagram, nor the 101 other sites out there. In fact, I still have a flip cellphone :P
run your name through zabasearch and you will see a ton of information about yourself. My husband and I were Law Enforcement and therefore freakishly private (concern of retaliation). Well, he totally freaked out when not only were out home address and phone number listed but there was a satellite image of our house with his (very unique) cruiser parked out front. Luckily for us, Zabasearch voluntarily removes information for public safety officers when notified in writing.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support