Can My Identity Be Stolen With My Name and Date of Birth?

April 30, 2024


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    Is It Risky To Share Your Name and Date of Birth Online?

    Due to digital public records and social media platforms, almost everyone is searchable online in some way. So, sharing relatively public information, such as your name and date of birth, won't immediately lead to identity theft — but it could increase your risk.  

    The biggest danger isn’t what scammers can do with your name and date of birth — it’s what types of other sensitive data these two simple pieces of information can help scammers find. 

    Reports of data breaches surged by 90% in the first three months of 2024 [*] — demonstrating that more leaked information is available than ever before. 

    Scammers can use basic, publicly-available details to discover more sensitive data that’s been leaked on the Dark Web, including your credit card numbers, Social Security number (SSN), and more. The more information that’s available about you online, the more damage it can do.

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    What Can a Scammer Do With Your Name and Date of Birth?

    A scammer can't break into your accounts or steal your money with just your name and date of birth. In fact, there's a good chance that this information is readily available on social media or through a simple Google search. 

    However, there are still real risks to having your name and date of birth circulating online. 

    Here are some of the ways hackers and scammers can use this data: 

    • Find your leaked and stolen information. The greatest danger of scammers having both your name and date of birth is that it makes it easier for them to track down your leaked personally identifiable information (PII) on the Dark Web. In a worst case scenario, even your basic information can be used to gather enough data to steal your identity. 
    • Research publicly available information. By searching for your name and date of birth, scammers can pull more information from data broker lists and public databases, including real estate or military databases. In some states, they can even find out if you own a pet [*]. 
    • Target you with personalized social engineering attacks. Fraudsters use your personal information in phishing scams to convince you or your friends and family members that they are who they say they are.
    A Tennessee woman was nearly tricked into paying thousands of dollars in supposed jury duty fines because scammers used her full name, birthday, and address in their scheme [*].
    • Uncover your address and steal your mail. By searching public property and real estate records, scammers can find out where you live and potentially steal credit card statements and tax returns from your mail. They might even reroute your mail by using a change-of-address scam. 
    • Potentially access some of your accounts. In combination with your Social Security number (SSN), account numbers, or login credentials, your name and date of birth can be used to access your accounts. Scammers might even use your birthdate to bypass some account security questions and verification steps. 
    • Open new accounts in your name. In other cases, fraudsters may use your personal information to open new accounts in your name with financial institutions, lenders, and credit card companies. Some scammers also create fake social media profiles to target your friends and family.
    • Create a fake ID in your name. Scammers can make a fake ID with your name, address, and date of birth to impersonate you for various reasons. For example, they may provide police with a fake or stolen ID to avoid criminal charges or fines owed in their real names [*]. 

    The bottom line: Even the leaking of your basic personal information can be enough to put you at risk of ID theft, fraud, or hacking. If you think or know that your PII has been leaked, you should be extra vigilant in looking for the warning signs of identity theft.

    How To Keep Your Identity and Personal Information Safe Online

    1. Limit the personal information you share online
    2. Secure your accounts with strong passwords and 2FA
    3. Take advantage of device and account privacy settings
    4. Delete old and unused accounts and apps
    5. Keep close tabs on your credit report and bank statements
    6. Use anti-tracking tools
    7. Don’t click on suspicious links
    8. Make sure you’re shopping and browsing on secure websites
    9. Use an “internet birthday” for online services
    10. Remove information from data broker lists

    The only way to completely protect your identity and accounts online is to stay offline entirely. Since that isn't an option for most people, consider the steps below as reasonable alternatives:

    1. Limit the personal information you share online

    Your digital footprint contains information you purposefully put online as well as data collected by websites and apps. Reducing your footprint gives scammers less to work with when they start to research you. 

    How to reduce your digital footprint: 

    • Clean up your social media profiles. Most social media accounts require sensitive information when you sign up — such as your name, location, email address, phone number, and more. Remove as much of this data as possible from your profile, and restrict access to only friends and trusted contacts. 
    • Remove your personal data from search results. Submit a personal content removal request if your contact or personal details are visible in Google search results — such as your address and cell phone number. Note that this won’t remove your data from websites — to do that, you need to contact each website individually. 

    📚 Related: 10 Ways To Protect Your Digital Footprint

    2. Secure your accounts with strong passwords and 2FA

    Account passwords and login credentials are regularly leaked in data breaches. If fraudsters access your email or social media accounts, they may be able to find sensitive information or even hack into your bank account. 

    Always use unique passwords to prevent a single data breach from giving hackers access to multiple accounts. Whenever possible, secure each of your accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA) as well. 

    How to update your passwords: 

    • Find at-risk passwords by using a Dark Web scanner. Identity Guard's free Dark Web scanner allows you to check if your email accounts and passwords have been leaked online. 
    • Use a password manager. A secure password manager helps you store and create complex passwords for all of your accounts. This way, you can use longer, unique passwords for every account without worrying about forgetting them.   

    3. Take advantage of device and account privacy settings

    Apps and online accounts track your online behaviors, purchases, and locations. Many people even post this information themselves on social media (nearly three-quarters of social media users admit that they don't even know everyone that sees their posts [*]). 

    If this information makes its way to identity thieves, they can build more believable scams to target you, your family, and friends. 

    How to update privacy settings: 

    • On your iPhone. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security to review your app permissions and location services. 
    • On your Android. Go to Settings > Privacy to review your app permissions. 
    • On social media. Limit who sees your posts and what information the platform shares with other services. Use these guides to update privacy on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and X (Twitter). 

    📚 Related: How To Secure Your Social Media Profiles Against Scammers

    4. Delete old and unused accounts and apps

    Old accounts often have weak security settings — giving scammers easy access to any stored information, linked accounts, or banking details. It’s always wise to delete accounts you’re no longer using. 

    How to delete information for unused accounts and apps:

    • Check your password manager. Google's password manager and the iOS password manager both show you a list of all of the accounts and passwords saved on your device. Use this list to track down accounts you want to delete. 
    • Deactivate the account. Once you know what accounts you have, log in to them individually and check the profile section for each one to find a way to delete the account. If you can't locate this information, remove or change all stored personal data. 

    5. Keep close tabs on your credit report and bank statements

    If your identity has been stolen, scammers will likely try to access your credit or steal from your bank accounts. By regularly monitoring your credit reports, credit score, and bank statements, you can spot fraud relatively quickly.

    How to review your credit report:

    • Order a free credit report. Visit to get free credit reports along with your credit history from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). 
    • Look for errors and signs of fraud. Review your personal information, accounts, statuses, and hard inquiries to make sure everything is accurate.
    ⚡️ Identity Guard can warn you fast if scammers are using your information. More than 38 million people trust Identity Guard to keep their personal information, finances, and identities safe. Try Identity Guard risk free with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

    6. Use anti-tracking tools

    The vast majority of websites track user activity for various reasons, such as research and development purposes or advertising [*]. However, hackers can get this information via data leaks, and then weaponize it against you. 

    Anti-tracking tools — such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and ad blockers — can give you more privacy by blocking the information that websites and online services collect from you. 

    7. Don’t click on suspicious links

    Fraudsters use malicious links in emails and texts to lure you to fake websites or download malware onto your device. In 2023 alone, 1.76 billion phishing emails were sent, many of them containing links to carry out scams [*]. While you're best to avoid clicking on any suspicious links, you should, at the very least, verify them first. 

    How to verify links:

    • Use a link checker. Copy and paste the link into Google's Safe Browsing site status to see if the site is safe or dangerous to visit.
    • Find the link destination. If you hover over a link with your cursor, your browser will show you the destination URL at the bottom of your screen. 

    📚 Related: How To Tell If a Website Is Fake

    8. Make sure you’re shopping and browsing on secure websites 

    Fake websites play a large part in many phishing scams, and they have become very convincing. 

    In 2023, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) observed more than five million phishing websites — the most ever recorded [*]. 

    How to verify website security:

    • Check the domain. Look for misspellings or look-alike domain names, such as “” or “” You can also type the company’s name into your search engine to ensure that you're on the official page. 
    • Look for the SSL certificate. Your browser can provide security information for websites — such as displaying HTTPs in the URLs, or padlock icons for sites that have valid SSL certificates. While these indicators help protect you, they don’t guarantee security. 

    9. Use an “internet birthday” for online services

    While most online services allow you to keep your personal information private, some still publish user birth dates. Since few platforms require actual proof, using a fake birthday when you register for these services will protect your actual date of birth from scammers. 

    How to hide your birthday:

    • On Facebook. Click on your Settings & Privacy > Settings and select Profile Information in the Audience Visibility section. Click on Edit in Basic info and set your birthday information to Only Me.
    • On Google. Open your Google account, and click on Manage your Google Account. Select Personal Info in the left-hand menu, and click on Birthday. Then set Choose who can see your birthday to Only you.

    📚 Related: How To Remove Your Information From The Internet (For Free)

    10. Remove information from data broker lists 

    Data brokers collect personal and contact information to sell to advertisers, researchers, and regulatory agencies. This information can also fall into the hands of scammers, so you're better off removing it when you can.

    How to opt out of data broker lists: 

    • Contact individual brokers. Go to to identify which data brokers operate in your state. You can then visit each site and track down its opt-out process.  
    • Use a third-party removal. Several organizations — including Identity Guard — offer automated data broker removal services to help you expedite this process. On your behalf, they request that the data broker remove your information. 

    Can Identity Theft Protection Keep You Safe?

    With data breaches hitting record-high levels each year, it’s impossible to guarantee that scammers won’t be able to access your personal information. 

    Identity theft protection services monitor your sensitive data across millions of touchpoints, such as the Dark Web, public records, account applications, and other places where scammers may use your information. However, no service can completely prevent identity theft. 

    Here's a quick rundown of what identity theft protection services can and cannot do to help keep you safe:

    Identity theft protection can:
    Identity theft protection cannot:
    Monitor your most sensitive information and warn you if it’s been leaked or is being used without your permission.
    Prevent scammers from stealing your information in the first place.
    Track your credit report and bank accounts and alert you to signs of fraud.
    Freeze your credit or set up fraud alerts on your behalf. However, many offer a credit lock option with at least one of the major credit bureaus.
    Provide support if you become the victim of identity theft, along with insurance coverage to help mitigate losses and damages resulting from the crime.
    Secure your personal information and data with third parties, such as any company or service to which you’ve provided it.
    Offer lost wallet protection that cancels your credit card accounts and supports you in replacing your driver's license and Social Security card.
    Remove your information from the Dark Web once it gets there.

    Is identity theft protection worth it? You can regularly monitor your financial accounts and credit file all on your own, but not everyone has the time or energy to do this. If your personal information is circulating online and your schedule won't allow you to keep a steady eye on it, identity theft protection services might be right for you. Learn more about how Identity Guard keeps you safe

    The Bottom Line: Keep Your Data (and Identity) Safe

    Cybercrime and identity fraud are just some of the many harsh tradeoffs that come with living in a digital world. 

    The more of your information that makes its way online, the more at risk you could be. 

    Your name and date of birth might seem like innocuous pieces of information; but in the wrong hands, they can contribute to dangerous scams and fraud. 

    If you think you might be at risk (or are already the victim) of identity theft, follow the steps below to protect yourself and your identity:

    • Freeze your credit. Freeze your credit with each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) to ensure that no one has access to your credit file. 
    • Contact your bank. Inform your bank of the possible theft, and follow the recommendations from its fraud department — which could involve setting up fraud alerts or closing your accounts and opening new ones. 
    • Secure your accounts. Bolster the security on your online accounts by adding new, complex, and unique passwords as well as 2FA. 
    • Report identity theft. File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at
    • File a police report. Report the identity theft at your local law enforcement station.

    Reacting quickly to the warning signs of identity theft can help defend you against fraud, but you might also consider getting support from an identity theft protection provider.

    Identity Guard safeguards your personal information with real-time fraud monitoring and alerts, credit and bank account protection, 24/7/365 U.S.-based fraud resolution support, and $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage. 

    Save on award-winning credit and identity protection. Get 33% off Identity Guard today!

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    1. Financial identity theft and fraud
    2. Medical identity theft
    3. Child identity theft
    4. Elder fraud and estate identity theft
    5. “Friendly” or familial identity theft
    6. Employment identity theft
    7. Criminal identity theft
    8. Tax identity theft
    9. Unemployment and government benefits identity theft
    10. Synthetic identity theft
    11. Identity cloning
    12. Account takeovers (social media, email, etc.)
    13. Social Security number identity theft
    14. Biometric ID theft
    15. Crypto account takeovers