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    • PlumbingTheDepths
    • By PlumbingTheDepths 6th Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    • 17Posts
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    PlumbingTheDepths
    Energy supplier - date of birth
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    Energy supplier - date of birth 6th Dec 17 at 2:11 PM
    Hi,
    I will contacting an energy supplier soon to set up an account.

    They tend to ask for a date of birth, but I generally try to give out as little sensitive information as possible (especially in these days of high profile hacks), so I'm tempted to refuse or give a fake date.

    However, because this is an energy supplier, and therefore credit related, is it potentially problematic to do so?

    I have seen comments elsewhere suggesting that this could trigger fraud flags.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Page 1
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 6th Dec 17, 2:15 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:15 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:15 PM
    Just give them your date of birth?

    Giving false information is illegal
    • PlumbingTheDepths
    • By PlumbingTheDepths 6th Dec 17, 2:42 PM
    • 17 Posts
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    PlumbingTheDepths
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:42 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:42 PM
    Just give them your date of birth?

    Giving false information is illegal
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter
    Thanks. I'll give it to them, if I need to, but I still have my Equifax "sorry you've been hacked" letter on my desk, so if I can avoid it I will

    When you say it is illegal to give false information, do you mean to an energy supplier and/or when credit is involved?
    • molerat
    • By molerat 6th Dec 17, 2:51 PM
    • 17,487 Posts
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    molerat
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:51 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:51 PM
    It all depends on if the supplier reports to the CRAs or credit checks you. Many don't and it would not be a problem but if it is one of those that do then a whole can of worms could be opened.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 6th Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    Thanks. I'll give it to them, if I need to, but I still have my Equifax "sorry you've been hacked" letter on my desk, so if I can avoid it I will

    When you say it is illegal to give false information, do you mean to an energy supplier and/or when credit is involved?
    Originally posted by PlumbingTheDepths
    To anyone.....
    • chiny
    • By chiny 6th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    chiny
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
    Oh, ah, do you think someone may query my security answers. Maybe they should doubt my mother's maiden name really was "T2PH2m3QapdHZhymMmengkwE" and even I have trouble remembering my first school was "Aj8gvT4ecuasfLcfW8FZctbp"
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 6th Dec 17, 6:50 PM
    • 1,143 Posts
    • 851 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:50 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:50 PM
    Oh, ah, do you think someone may query my security answers. Maybe they should doubt my mother's maiden name really was "T2PH2m3QapdHZhymMmengkwE" and even I have trouble remembering my first school was "Aj8gvT4ecuasfLcfW8FZctbp"
    Originally posted by chiny
    I went to that school too, but I dont remember anyone with that surname.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • tenchy
    • By tenchy 6th Dec 17, 6:57 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    tenchy
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:57 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 6:57 PM
    Just give them your date of birth?

    Giving false information is illegal
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter

    Depends on the context, and given that companies have a habit of losing this type of information I would say it's almost becoming necessary to give a false one.


    Ask them this: "why do you want my date of birth". Almost certainly the answer will be "for security, so that when we contact you, or you contact us, we can verify your identity." To which you should reply, "no problem, for data protection and my own security I'll give you a memorable date instead". I did this with BT - not an issue at all.
    • PlumbingTheDepths
    • By PlumbingTheDepths 6th Dec 17, 8:07 PM
    • 17 Posts
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    PlumbingTheDepths
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:07 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 8:07 PM
    Depends on the context, and given that companies have a habit of losing this type of information I would say it's almost becoming necessary to give a false one.
    Originally posted by tenchy
    Quite. There is no dishonest intent here, just self protection. Still, if it's anything to do with credit, I do get concerned.

    Ask them this: "why do you want my date of birth". Almost certainly the answer will be "for security, so that when we contact you, or you contact us, we can verify your identity." To which you should reply, "no problem, for data protection and my own security I'll give you a memorable date instead". I did this with BT - not an issue at all.
    Originally posted by tenchy
    Thanks, that's extremely useful. I will try that, then there's no suggestion of fraud and I can check if they use it for credit checks. It does rely upon the rep knowing what they are talking about, though.

    I won't rehash the often discussed studity of every company using the same "unique" information that "only the real person would know", suffice to say that my mum also has some very weird maiden names.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 6th Dec 17, 10:04 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    Oh, ah, do you think someone may query my security answers. Maybe they should doubt my mother's maiden name really was "T2PH2m3QapdHZhymMmengkwE" and even I have trouble remembering my first school was "Aj8gvT4ecuasfLcfW8FZctbp"
    Originally posted by chiny
    But there's a difference between your personal details and a memorable place, name etc.

    To even post such a comparison is rather worrying...
    • takman
    • By takman 6th Dec 17, 11:55 PM
    • 2,907 Posts
    • 2,424 Thanks
    takman
    They tend to ask for a date of birth, but I generally try to give out as little sensitive information as possible (especially in these days of high profile hacks), so I'm tempted to refuse or give a fake date.
    Originally posted by PlumbingTheDepths
    I wouldn't consider your date of birth as particularly sensitive information. If it was sensitive then nobody would celebrate their birthday and tell everyone how old they are!.
    • PlumbingTheDepths
    • By PlumbingTheDepths 7th Dec 17, 11:20 AM
    • 17 Posts
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    PlumbingTheDepths
    I wouldn't consider your date of birth as particularly sensitive information. If it was sensitive then nobody would celebrate their birthday and tell everyone how old they are!.
    Originally posted by takman
    I think it becomes sensitive, simply because it is used to check identity, just the same as your mother's maiden name.

    Certainly, I have seen many identity theft warnings about not advertising your date of birth on social media.

    EDIT: To reset the password on my water account yesterday, I needed my email, DOB and registered phone number. As you suggest, plenty of people know all three. (and, yes, I did give the water company my real DOB, which I'm now regretting).
    Last edited by PlumbingTheDepths; 07-12-2017 at 11:26 AM.
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 7th Dec 17, 7:39 PM
    • 1,130 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    nic_c
    You have to remember a lot of this information is easily accessible. Unless you have a fairly common name, it would be trivial to find mothers maiden name in the UK if you knew (even roughly) how old they were. It's given when births are registered and that's publically available. Have a search at https://www.freebmd.org.uk for you own
    • PlumbingTheDepths
    • By PlumbingTheDepths 8th Dec 17, 12:01 AM
    • 17 Posts
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    PlumbingTheDepths
    You have to remember a lot of this information is easily accessible. Unless you have a fairly common name, it would be trivial to find mothers maiden name in the UK if you knew (even roughly) how old they were. It's given when births are registered and that's publically available. Have a search at https://www.freebmd.org.uk for you own
    Originally posted by nic_c
    Quite right, this information is not too difficult to find.

    Luckily finding my mother's real maiden name won't help them hoodwink my bank, if my bank have a record of her name being "Ramesses the third".
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 8th Dec 17, 12:18 AM
    • 26,238 Posts
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    forgotmyname
    A place of birth for one of my accounts was the Lost City of Atlantis

    See how many people try that as an answer for a security question
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 10th Dec 17, 10:30 AM
    • 1,143 Posts
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    Shakin Steve
    After watching Martin Lewis on tv (all about switching),it occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons they ask for your DOB is to check whether you are entitled to one of the discounts available to older customers.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 10th Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    • 1,130 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    nic_c
    After watching Martin Lewis on tv (all about switching),it occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons they ask for your DOB is to check whether you are entitled to one of the discounts available to older customers.
    Originally posted by Shakin Steve
    Possibly, but often companies request as much information as possible, just in case it's needed in future. You can always ask why do they need it and state you'd rather not disclose it.
    I don't think there is a problem giving an incorrect DOB so long as you are consistent - the problem is when you phone up the energy company and can't remember what you used originally . A lot of people will have incorrect DOB on their credit reports, especially for the likes of mobiles taken out over the phone or by hand written application where someone else is inputting the data.
    • tenchy
    • By tenchy 10th Dec 17, 12:48 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    tenchy
    Possibly, but often companies request as much information as possible, just in case it's needed in future. You can always ask why do they need it and state you'd rather not disclose it.
    I don't think there is a problem giving an incorrect DOB so long as you are consistent - the problem is when you phone up the energy company and can't remember what you used originally . A lot of people will have incorrect DOB on their credit reports, especially for the likes of mobiles taken out over the phone or by hand written application where someone else is inputting the data.
    Originally posted by nic_c

    I know I've asked this before - but there's never been a satisfactory answer. The question is - how can this happen? The credit bureaus identify people uniquely by a combination of name, address and date of birth, so if one of those items doesn't match, they can't associate records being submitted with those they already have on file (leaving aside linked addresses and alias names). What on earth is going on here? If they receive records with an unmatched date of birth then they can't link them - simple as that. Are they linking them regardless? If so, and it can be shown that they are, then the ICO should be informed about this malpractice.
    • Shakin Steve
    • By Shakin Steve 11th Dec 17, 12:39 PM
    • 1,143 Posts
    • 851 Thanks
    Shakin Steve
    I know I've asked this before - but there's never been a satisfactory answer. The question is - how can this happen? The credit bureaus identify people uniquely by a combination of name, address and date of birth, so if one of those items doesn't match, they can't associate records being submitted with those they already have on file (leaving aside linked addresses and alias names). What on earth is going on here? If they receive records with an unmatched date of birth then they can't link them - simple as that. Are they linking them regardless? If so, and it can be shown that they are, then the ICO should be informed about this malpractice.
    Originally posted by tenchy
    I think a few folk on the forum exaggerate.....a little. My energy supplier (EDF) does not report to the CRAs, but some do.
    I came into this world with nothing and I've got most of it left.
    • BettyBones
    • By BettyBones 14th Dec 17, 1:02 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 312 Thanks
    BettyBones
    I've never given any utility company my personal details. They get my title and surname and that's it. I don't currently pay any utilities through a supplier as they're all included in my rent but the last supplier I did have was E-On. When I rang them to tell them that I had moved into the property they asked for my date of birth but when I asked what they needed it for, they said 'so that we know the date when you become eligible for the older person's discount'. I was about 30 years away from my retirement date at that point so said thanks, but no thanks.

    To be honest, I don't really understand why I would need to give my personal details as security for when I want to contact them either. Surely just giving the account number is sufficient?
    What's someone going to do... ring up and pretend to be me so they can pay my bill? Or try to find out how many pence per unit I'm paying? Anyway, I wouldn't give any further personal details other than my title and surname and the chap on the other end of the phone was fuming. Eventually he said 'don't bother ringing us when you have a problem then' and promptly hung up on me
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