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Do you have an "official" birthday?

(74 Posts)
madamecholet Sun 31-Jul-16 20:11:08

Whenever I am asked for my date of birth by anyone other than banks, credit card companies, etc I never give my real birth date, but use another date. It’s always the same date, but was chosen completely at random when I set up my first email account. I thought most people did this, but an article in today’s Sunday Times suggests that many people don’t realise the dangers of giving their real birth date to any online site that asks for it. I can’t give you a link, you need to subscribe to view the entire article online, but it reports that identity theft is currently a huge and growing problem and social networking sites, in particular, are a hunting ground for criminals.

I don’t do Facebook and I try not to give out too much personal information on internet forums or say anything online that would make it easy to identify me. Are other Gransnetters equally cautious; do you also have an “official” birthday – just like the Queengrin!

susiegee Mon 01-Aug-16 17:06:47

I give the official date but not the correct year as like the poster I am conscious of the scammers, I tend to be cautious of anything that requires my date of birth and a girl never gives away her age!

Djson Mon 01-Aug-16 17:16:48

I don't put my real dob either. To dangerous.

Spangles1963 Mon 01-Aug-16 17:54:23

Katek - I tried this once about a year ago,giving a false 11 digit number,as I knew that the only reason they wanted it was so they could plague me with texts and calls,or sell it on to other companies,to do the same. A message appeared on the screen saying ' You must enter a valid mobile number'. WTAF?! I had never had any dealings with them before,so how could they have known it was not my real number? And if they KNEW what my number was,why were they asking me for it?! confused

Lozzamas Mon 01-Aug-16 18:27:32

I've set most of my security responses to "God knows" as that is my usual response to security questions... I can never remember what my favourite place was 15 years ago. It raises a titter but it works!

SusieB50 Mon 01-Aug-16 19:23:27

Thanks for all the tips. I never even thought of that I'll start doing both the DOB and telephone right now .

netgran Mon 01-Aug-16 21:35:24

According to Facebook I am 125 years old yet they still ask all my friends to wish me a happy birthday every year?

rosesarered Mon 01-Aug-16 22:18:26

Good ideas.I especially like the idea that I was born in 1995.

henbane Mon 01-Aug-16 23:45:48

Spangles1963, as I said below, more sophisticated systems can check that a phone number is valid (as with addresses). You can experiment until you find one that is accepted, but this means that some innocent who actually HAS that phone number gets plagued with your spam. I've had this happen in the past. I've also had junk mail and catalogues turn up in the post because someone has obviously filled my address in on some website. No competition prizes unfortunately!

Falconbird Tue 02-Aug-16 06:29:50

When my husband was alive he had an arrangement that our phone didn't accept with held numbers. When he was admitted to hospital in an ambulance and during all the ensuing awfulness no-one asked for my mobile number.

The consequence was that the hospital were desperately trying to contact me on my landline to say that his condition had worsened and he had been moved to another ward, but our phone wouldn't accept the call.

I had to walk miles to find the new ward in a state of total anxiety.

Some hospitals it would seem with hold their number for privacy reasons.

madamecholet Tue 02-Aug-16 09:36:18

Perhaps the systems are programmed to recognise UK dialling codes - it seems unlikely they would have every number in the country on their records. I have been using my own area code with a made up number without any problem and, this morning, I have just used a code from a very distant part of the UK with followed by six zeros and that has worked too. I would guess a valid UK area code followed by six digits will usually be fine.

Falconbird our hospital, doctors, dentist, optician, government departments, etc all use withheld numbers. We have caller display and only answer numbers we recognise - all others are left to go to the answerphone. If it is a genuine caller, they always leave a message.

aitch Tue 02-Aug-16 11:17:18

I've got a system on my phone called "Call Guardian" whereby the caller is invited to announce their name. Their number is displayed on the phone and if they withhold their number and/or their name I am invited (by the system) to choose whether or not to accept the call by keying 1 to accept, 2 (to reject I think) and 3 to send the call to answer phone. Huge benefit is no more nuisance calls!!

Grannaby Tue 02-Aug-16 12:13:23

thanks for the tips, never thought about being dishonest! I have now aged 10 years on Facebook as I would rather be looking wonderful for my years than . . . .

Someone mentioned earlier about people scanning through your friends lists on Facebook looking for relatives names. It is perfectly possible to make your friends list private. I did this sometime ago to protect my friends and to make it less easy for certain people to check out who I was. I think it would be good if this practice was more widely known.

Falconbird Tue 02-Aug-16 13:30:20

Just to clarify - The above post about my husband having a number with held bar on our landline phone meant that when the hospital called, a recorded message said "This telephone does not accept with held numbers."

As a consequence of this the hospital couldn't even leave a message.

We never foresaw this event happening of course.

Alima Tue 02-Aug-16 13:46:18

I hadn't realised that so much could be done by "them" knowing your actual dob. Just as well I don't give the right details on many sites. Usually use a random name and details. If I have to give a phone number I use the one we used to have which isn't assigned now or the mobile one as I don't use it as a phone very often. (Had loads of missed calls on that recently as I had asked a garage about a car. Just dismissed them).

bikergran Tue 02-Aug-16 14:06:28

I was putting my date of birth in for a transaction a few weeks ago and noticed the choice of year dates!! they went back to the 1800S shock

Also when I am shopping for insurance (scooter in my case) I do not put my genuine phone number in, once I am sorted with the insurance I then put my real phone number in.

petra Tue 02-Aug-16 18:46:45

Lozzamas I don't want to worry you but 'God Knows' is a favourite of a lot of people and hackers know it.
How many of you have Ice1 and Ice2 on your mobiles. This is there for the emergency services to call if you are in an accident and are unconscious.

jacq10 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:34:11

Katek: Wish I had read your post a day earlier. I was driven mad last night using the Matalan site. I am fairly new to internet shopping and didn't want to give my mobile number and didn't understand why I couldn't complete my order!!! The penny eventually dropped so I entered my mobile numbef and thankfully proceeded with my order but not happy!! It will be the last time - like your 01234 000000!

NfkDumpling Tue 02-Aug-16 22:50:42

I've always given my correct date of birth as I thought it was available on the electoral roll.

I don't think I've given it to many organisations apart from banks and things like that but I shall be more careful in future and steal my mothers birthdate!

whitewave Wed 03-Aug-16 09:54:44

I didn't but I do now after reading this thread!!

shandi6570 Wed 03-Aug-16 11:27:12

I will be following this advice too, especially after the last couple of days. Went food shopping yesterday and got a voucher from the supermarket for an allowance towards a bunch of flowers for my birthday and this morning I had to laugh when I opened up Google and the front page was Google wishing me a happy birthday.Yes it's my birthday today, but I feel quite spooked rather than pleased about these 'thoughtful' gestures.

GeorgeW Wed 03-Aug-16 13:16:53

I've always used a slightly different DOB for security reasons but I wouldn't recommend doing so on Facebook unless you are ok with losing your account. If anything happens where they require ID and it doesn't match they lock you out. You can set up another account but it's hassle as you have to use a different email address & everything that was linked needs to be set up again, Spotify for example.

shandi6570 Wed 03-Aug-16 17:32:40

And now I've received a Happy Birthday e-mail from NHS Blood. If nothing else it's reminding me who has my DOB along with other details.

Wheniwasyourage Wed 03-Aug-16 18:25:29

Good advice here; thank you all. I sometimes change my d.o.b. to the date I was actually due and also use a local postcode which is all shops and offices, one of which I sometimes work in, so it shouldn't cause any problems with junk mail for anyone. I usually put in our landline because we are in the phone book and don't answer numbers which we don't know, including "withheld" or "international", but will try your number, Katek, instead.

Happy birthday shandi6570! flowers