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Comment Re:I'm not falling for that! (Score 1) 277 is funny that way. They offered me a whole page of dildos for mother's day and followed it up with an email with an electric wall plug in model. Which is pretty funny on it's face, since my purchasing history right before that day was three knives, a bayonet and a shotgun sling.

Maybe shotgun slings and dildos are often purchased together?

Comment Re:I'm not falling for that! (Score 1) 277

My god, it's some of the same info I give to my brokerage when I call them on the phone.

And it's available to anyone with access to credit check services. If that's all the information that your broker is using to identify you, I suggest that you find a new broker. At the very least they should be asking you for a password and giving you a bit of secret information that you've previously given to them to help you confirm that you're dealing with your broker and not somebody impersonating your broker. This would all be in addition to whatever security questions are required (preferably ones made up by you custom).

Comment Re:I'm not falling for that! (Score 1) 277

You just keep right on telling yourself that.

Damn right. Most people, no matter what precautions they take or where in the world they live, can be found for a few thousand dollars and most Americans can be found for much, much less. It's much more practical to muddy the information they already have about you by mixing plausible lies in with the truth. If they have nothing then sure, go ahead and lie completely but if they already know part of the story, make sure that you fill in the rest with false or misleading information.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 277

I must confess that I'm not up on current retail prices, but surely there are resellers who have volume accounts and can run queries on your behalf while passing on at least some of their volume savings to you. Private Investigators probably fall into that category for example. Even so, as others have pointed out, that information is also likely available from other sources if you've ever made a purchase online using your credit card.

Comment Re:But worst? It pegged him as a Windows user. (Score 1) 277

Maybe I just need to poison the data some more.

Couldn't hurt. Although I always use completely fake details when they don't already have at least some information on me already. A good source for fake ID information that will pass most sanity checks like zip code and address combinations or state and area codes is Fake Name Generator. As for the debt collectors, ask them to provide information concerning the debt, such as when it was first incurred, without giving out or confirming any information about yourself. If they refuse then tell them that the person they're looking for cannot be reached at your number or address, which is the truth in your case right? If they disclose the age of the debt and it's beyond the statute of limitations for collection you wouldn't be obligated to pay even if it was your debt and it can be a violation of law for them to continue calling depending upon where you live. Finally, you should note the number that they're calling from so that you can add it to your blocked call list on your phone account. The caller id number might be spoofed, but it couldn't hurt. While your at it you should also set your phone account to 'unblock or I won't take your call'. That way, you don't get 'private call' in the caller ID if they actually want to ring through.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 1) 277

That's a good point. Browser fingerprinting can definitely improve the value of whatever other information they think that they have. However, even that can be defended against if one installs the proper extensions. My personal favorites, in addition to the usual trifecta of AdBlock, NoScript and Ghostery are FireGloves (randomizes information that could otherwise be used to generate a browser fingerprint) and Secret Agent (rotates your user agent string randomly using a customizable list ala the rotating license plates on the bond cars).

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 1) 277

No, what they really seem to want is to collect your name, email, home address, DOB and last four digits of your SSN.

Do you honestly believe that they don't already have a database with that information on every American that has ever applied for credit, filed a tax return, paid property taxes or had anything delivered to their home ever? If you think that that information is private, you've got another thing coming. It's all for sale from the likes of Lexis Nexis, Choicepoint or any number of others in the data business.

Comment Re:But worst? It pegged him as a Windows user. (Score 1) 277

For extra confusion, try and find people in the same general geographic region with the same or similar name to yours and use bits and pieces of that information when filling out non-essential forms and such. The goal is to trick their databases into confusing you with somebody else when all they have is the name and not the SSN so that your profile becomes a confused jumble of inaccurate, false, misleading and cross pollinated information from many other real and fake people with the same or similar names. Obviously, this works better if your surname and first name are relatively more common.

Comment Re:Nothing unusual (Score 1) 277

why the hell would I give it to the exact people I don't want to have it?

They already have the minimum biographical info that they're asking for, that's public information unless you're in the witness protection program. What they don't have is the other related data which they're asking you to update for them. Now of course you wouldn't want to correct their inaccurate records of your other data, but it's nice to see that all of the disinformation and database poisoning is having its intended effects.

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Informative) 277

And in order to see the data they have about me, I have to give them my name, home address, last four digits of my SSN? Seriously?

If you think that the data brokers like Lexis Nexis, Choicepoint and these guys don't already have all of that information and more, you're sadly misinformed. Would it shock to know that all of that information is readily available to just about any business owner or attorney for $50 or less and nothing more than a promise (by them to the data broker) that you said that you wanted to do business with them or are a client of theirs?

Comment Re:Buying a 'private cloud' from someone else (Score 1) 213

Government does not have the money or expertise to do it themselves.

Does not have the money? Are you daft? The US Government controls the supply of the world's reserve currency. You know, the stuff that everyone on the planet wants. If they want to create more money to pay for something they can simply promise the Fed that they will pay them back and the Fed will credit their bank account with however much they want to spend. For now at least, there's hardly a bank on Earth that wouldn't accept electronic wire from the Fed or through a US bank that will for payment or transfer.

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