Fraud from personal data?
April 8, 2016 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Let's say someone has gotten access to your full name, date of birth, city of birth, and signature. Can someone commit fraud with these pieces of information, and if so, how? If not, I'm wondering what else they might try to get. I'm concerned I might be at risk for fraud because someone has snooped around and gotten the above data about me and I just got a bad feeling about them.
posted by mintchip to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Well, with that info my own sister opened credit cards AND convinced my bank she was me.
posted by easily confused at 8:03 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Phone authentication via the three banks I've dealt with has been your address and your date of birth, along with the relevant account numbers. So yes - it is possible.

One way to circumvent this is to put a credit alert on your file at the major bureaus - this will require them to contact you before opening any new credit and to answer a few verification questions. It's not bulletproof but even temporarily it might provide you some ease of mind.
posted by scrittore at 8:14 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Well, there was a recent phishing attempt done on my elderly father using my entire family's available Facebook data to persuade him that I was in jail and needed bail money wired to someone to pay it.
posted by srboisvert at 8:20 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lock down all your credit and let your family know that you've been compromised.

I might go so far as to contact all of my creditors and utilities to let them know that I was the victim of identity theft so you can put passcodes on everything. This will circumvent social engineering (to a certain extent.)
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2016

Yeah, it's possible. About the only thing that's missing is your SSN. On the other hand, it's all public information, so everyone is at risk all the time. The big question is how shady your snooper is. Is he actually willing to commit a felony that could send him to jail?
posted by SemiSalt at 10:52 AM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lots of websites have your birth city and mother's maiden name as the default questions that let you reset your password, so I'd double check what security questions you've chosen on any sites that are super important to you like banking or email.
posted by MsMolly at 3:10 PM on April 8, 2016

That's pretty public info - except for signature which doesn't really matter, most places don't check it against anything so it's not like having your "real signature" gives any special access, and for contacts etc. I'm pretty sure it's not the *signature* that binds you but the fact that you signed. (Your signature is not a magical series of strokes that can bind you to things if wielded by someone else).

A dedicated bad actor can do a lot of harm with easily available info, though, so it's possible.

I think they would need your SSN to do any real harm, but again - dedicated "black hats" have done some impressive things with just social engineering to get access to email accounts and so on. So I can't tell you you're *safe* but my amateur assessment would be that any risk you're at is unrelated to the info.
posted by Lady Li at 12:53 AM on April 9, 2016

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