Fact Check


Can information about you that might be used in identity theft schemes be obtained from the web site anybirthday.com?

Published Feb 14, 2002


Claim:   Personal information that might be used in identity theft schemes against you can be obtained from the web site anybirthday.com.

Status:   Sort of.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

The IRS has issued an advisory about a website being used by criminals to steal identities. The advisory was recently read at MPD roll calls. It concerns a website named www.anybirthday.com. This website lists
millions of birthdays, and has additional identifying information. I ran a quick check and discovered that I and my entire family are on the website. I think it likely that you and yours are there as well.

The good news is that you can remove yourself from the website. To do so, go to the website and see if you are listed. If you are, and you want out, click on the "FAQ" button, then the "privacy statement" button and finally on the "opt out option" button. You will need to enter your information EXACTLY as it appears on the record you pulled up, and then click the "remove my record" button. It may take a few minutes, but this will remove your record from the database.

Origins:   The web site anybirthday.com is an interface to a large database (they claim 135 million records) through which web users can enter a birthdate and retrieve a list of names of people born on that date, or enter name information to receive a list of birthdates for

Birthday cake

people with matching names.

Could information obtained from anybirthday.com be used for identity theft schemes? Perhaps, but only as starting point: The most a user can obtain from anybirthday.com is a name, birth date, ZIP code, and gender — that might be enough information, say, to obtain a copy of someone's birth certificate, but a scammer generally needs something more than that (such as a Social Security number, at least) to start applying for charge cards or opening lines of credit in someone else's name.

It should be noted, however, that the information available on anybirthday.com is compiled from a variety of publicly-available sources (such as motor vehicle records or voter registration rolls), so your opting out of anybirthday.com's database won't necessarily prevent others from obtaining information about you from those same sources, or from information brokers similar to anybirthday.com.

Last updated:   6 January 2008

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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