WARNING WARNING WARNING New ID Theft Scheme – Protect Yourself!

>>JUST AFTER I GOT THIS EMAIL SOMEONE CALLED ME ABOUT MY NIECE AND I KNEW NOT TO GIVE THEM INFORMATION ABOUT HER!!! Thank goodness I got this email when I did! Read it all the way through – and then read it again!!!

>>> This email comes from the Pope so you know it’s reliable. Very important!


>>>>Last week in Brooklyn a woman took a shidduch call for a neighbor of hers. The caller didn’t identify himself but said he was investigating the girl for a potential shidduch date. The woman was eager to be helpful and didn’t ask the caller his name.

>>>>The caller was interested in the girl’s family background, particularly the mother’s, so the woman told him all about the mother’s family, impressing the caller with the girl’s yichus from her mother’s family, the rabbinic dynasty of the Uber family.

>>>>Afterwards, the caller asked about the girl’s interests, especially animals, as his son had always wanted a dog ever since he was a boy and had been told he could do whatever he wanted when he grew up and moved out, so he was. The woman assured the caller that the girl had had several pets over the course of her life, ranging from a chicken to a miniature giraffe to the most adorable little goliath beetle. She even remembered the names of all the pets, and provided them – Henny Penny, Rubbernecker, and Golias.

>>>>The caller, of course, was interested in the girl’s schooling – where she attended, what year she’d graduated, and where she’d grown up. He also confirmed the girl’s address, which he’d gotten from the shadchan.

>>>>The woman tried her best to be helpful, because the girl was a very special girl, and she wanted to help her get married. After covering a few other subjects, the caller thanked the woman and hung up.




Okay, a little extreme, yes, but this popped into my head after having the following conversation:

“Someone called me about you yesterday!”

“Really? Who?”

“Not sure. Maybe a Schwartz? Or was it Cohn?”

Why don’t people ask and remember who’s calling? If a stranger randomly calls up and starts asking for personal information about someone you know, shouldn’t it raise a few red flags? At least you should wonder what their names are. Usually I have a vague notion of who should be checking me out and can match your caller with one of my potential suitors.

And why do I really care? It’s good to be able to keep track of who is investigating you. I mean, if someone called a string of six people and then you never hear from him again, wouldn’t you want to know who the last reference was? Or, more seriously, when all your friends, neighbors, and relatives have been throwing suggestions at you regularly, it’s kind of nice to have a heads up on which ones are actually actualizing.

So c’mon folks. Ask who it is and who they’re calling for. That’s a lot more useful than just “Somebody’s calling.”

43 thoughts on “WARNING WARNING WARNING New ID Theft Scheme – Protect Yourself!

  1. Hysterical.

    Some lady once called me to check out a girl and *refused to identify themselves.* They also asked disgusting leading questions like “So you would say she’s not really serious about her avodas Hashem,” and “so she’s not really healthy,” and then the next day the guy called off the date that had already been scheduled about three hours before it was due to begin.

    Charmers all the way around.

  2. When I call someone for info, I don’t identify myself unless I’m asked, and I’m very rarely asked. But I don’t block my number, so I agree with blue…look it up.

  3. MW- You don’t identify unless asked? I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that people (including yourself) feel that it’s OK to ask for personal information while remaining anonymous yourself, or the fact that other people actually respond and provide you with said info! It’s great that you at least don’t actively hide who you are, but c’mon! I am physically incapable of making a phone call without saying may name. And if someone called me to ask about a relative, I darn well want to know who he or she is.

    At least you don’t make negative assumptions like the caller in comment #1.

  4. “Hello, my name is Yenta Shahg, and I would like to ask you a few questions . . . ”

    Is that so hard? Make up an alias if it makes you feel better, but there is a certain courtesy that comes along when one calls up someone else’s home and asks for personal information.

    But what I don’t get is the whole hysteria to get “information” to begin with. We’re all frum Jews. Whatever is frightening about someone else won’t be revealed over the phone by a family friend, who pretties up the details so the other person will be so kind and return the favor when it is their turn.

    So I don’t really bother with information shopping. Someone mentions the guy, mother asks what he is doing, and if it sounds okay then it’s a yes. Bad dates happen no matter how much prep goes into it.

  5. Dear Princess Lea, I think you have to do some sort of hishtadlus to try screen a potential date. Of course, there will always be things that are bashert that you don’t find out. That’s a good thing because sometimes, a piece of info comes up, let’s say after the couple is engaged or married, that would have probably caused you to say no to the suggesion when you were first approached, that it is a very good thing you didn’t know because the couple really belongs together for all the right reasons. I guess it means Hashem put them together. Of course this supposes you did your research as thoroughly as you could. It can be truly tragic when a couple meet, develop a connection and reasons come up that indicate that this shouldn’t be a shidduch and they are beyong paying attention to the voice of reason, and it was something you could have found out before. Also, please, please, make that phone call to Dor Yeshurim before the couple even meets for one time. That is the simplest call to make at a time when you are finding out narishkeit like do they use plastic tablecloths on Shabbos. Of course, thank you Bad For for another great post.

  6. Shkoyach. I especially loved your attention to detail: the caps lock, exclamation points, sub-mediocre writing, and lack of commas. Bad4, you never do things by halves. 🙂

  7. What Miriam said is, unfortunately, not uncommon. People digging for info. don’t think they have to identify themselves and so maintain their own privacy while invading the potential shidduch’s with these type of – often impertinent and utterly subjective — questions. Looking up a number doesn’t always work. In any case, do you think that someone bent on ID theft would scruple not to give you a phony name? They also would be wise to blocking or even disguising their phone numbers. There are “spoof” cards for just that purpose. As for those of us who are less Machiavellian, we may still be disguised. You may not actively block it, but it may still appear as unknown on the screen. I don’t block my number, but my mother says her caller ID doesn’t show my name or number when I call her.

  8. Mystery Woman,

    I have always refused to give out information if the caller will not give his/her name. That in and of itself is a red flag and it has happened. It’s probably not an identity theft issue but whatever the reason you should be willing to hang everything of yours out that you want about the guy/girl you’re asking about.

  9. great post! its so ridiculous it might even be true. The truth is that when you do apply for a credit card they ask for your mothers name, and standard “i forgot my password” questions are pet names, high schools, and street you grew up on.

  10. People also use their birthdays as pin numbers, so that info could also be used for access to an account. Think twice before posting your birthday in a public forum like Facebook if you use the dates for such purposes. Even without that, such info can help someone trying to pull off your identity for something illegal.

  11. Ummmmm #7, I don’t think anyone here calls Dor Yeshorim before a date. My sister went out with 50+ guys; some with 100+. It makes sense to drag out your DNA for every single one of those? I believe the procedure is to test before an engagement.

    And as for something catastrophic coming up after marriage (hereditary disease aside), if that information is so terrifying and shocking, what family friend would know? Plenty of people I’m sure asked a zillion questions, researched heavily, but if the family doesn’t want it to get out, know one will know. Sometimes marriages with concealed secrets (mental/health problems) happen, to its detriment, even with all your version of hishtadlus.

    That’s not what I call hishtadlus. My hishtadlus is to dress nice, smile politely, date without over analyzing it to death, because I’m letting the Eibishter take care of it. If you think you know better than the Eibishter, then you ask stupid questions.

  12. The attainment of this information seems so nonchalant. And yet they attach so much importance to references. I’m very confused about references myself. If there was something so very specific that the inquiring party needed to know, couldn’t they just ask on the date. Wouldn’t that make for, get this, “interesting conversation”. Is there a concern that if his rabbi didn’t shower empty praises on the guy that he might rape the girl on their date? It’s beyond me: what difference could all these minute details make so early in the dating process in this unusual community?

  13. harryer, for online banking you have to asnwer these questions too… i don’t know about you, but i never give the real answers…

  14. Princess lea- why not ask dor yeshorim before every match? or after a 3rd or fourth date? it takes ONE business day to get results back. i started doing it after date 2 or 3 because there is usually a larger stretch of time between them than date 1 and 2 so why not? whenever i ask why people wait until they are invested and almost engaged, i never get an answer. its non commital.

  15. I agree with Princess Lea. There’s no reason for all this background checking to begin with. I do my own “checking” which usually consists of me finding someone who might know both of us and asking one question: “does it make sense?” If I can’t find someone else, I might go out without any further questions. Not so difficult. As far as #7 goes, that’s a little ridiculous. You contradicted yourself. You seem like you’re hoping for the references to leave something out that is potentially dangerous in hopes that once you find out, it won’t matter. That’s kinda backwards.

  16. To clarify about Dor Yeshorim, the prospective shidduch does NOT get your genetic info. Each person gets a number. They do not want people to only ask when they are already emotionally involved, on the verge of getting engaged. When a shidduch is suggested, they ask about pairing the numbers. A couple is only considered genetically incompatible if BOTH are carriers for a particular disease. So if they are advised not to pursue the pairing they know they both are carriers, though they would not know for which one of the various diseases that are screened by the blood test. I did an article about it entitled “5 Vials of Prevention” for Kallah Magazine a few years ago. It’s the last article on http://kallahmagazine.com/Archived%20Articles.htm

  17. Oh wow. I totally thought that you had actually received this forward and chosen to post it. Until I read the comments. Thanks, LRS. And I’m something of a forward expert, if getting a million of them and sending off angry rants to my friends about why they are fake counts as expertise. Points to you for doing it so convincingly!

    (on second thought, the ref to the Pope should’ve given it away…)

  18. I see I generated a little bit of controversy and some degree of misunderstanding.(#7). I was talking about two different things; 1-some things don’t get found out and it is totally bashert that you not know about them because they are not (as may have been misinterpreted) big bad things, they are things that if you were looking for the perfect shidduch you may have looked askance at even though they would have no bearing on the couple’s future when you really thought about it. This is when a “normal amt. of hishtadlus is done.2- On the other hand, when next to no investigation is done, ppl can get emotionally involved to the extent that they will not pay attention to potential danger signals when they stare them in the face.3- To ask someone for their Dor Yeshorim number in the middle of dating them can cause them to panic as if that is to say the shidduch has reached extreme seriousness to that party and cause the other side to panic if they’re not there yet. At the point where ppl are holding by getting engaged, why add to their anxiety by waiting out the result of the test when they have so much invested in the relationship already. btw, I asked Dor Yeshorim if two ppl are incompatible, do they tell them for which disease/diseases, if I am not mistaken, they said they do.

  19. They do NOT tell you which genetic disease you are a carrier for. They just tell you that you are not compatible. Which is why many wish to use the Open Information system of other labs. They wish to know what they are carriers for, what they match up for, and make informed decisions about their lives.

    To Anonymous- And as for asking their Dor Yeshorim number, its meaningless unless you make it meaningful. Would you rather that they waited until they are about to get engaged and then find out? that makes less sense. The way I’ve done it was “before we get more serious, can we check compatibility with DY? We can take our time, but I would like to get this out of the way, before we get more emotionally involved.”

    Of course like anything in relationships, it requires a bit of ‘sechel’ to say it the right way, with the right tone. A good shadchan should not let it progress that far without doing the checking. R’ Mordechai Willig states that he will not preform the marriage if they have not done genetic testing, and strongly discourages couples who are engaged from getting married (if they are incompatible)

  20. Dor Yeshorim will not tell you stam what diseases you may be a carrier for but if they say that a match is not compatible,I think they told me that you can find out for which disease. I still think that the shadchanim that ask for the numbers at the outset do everyone a giant favor. If you don’t do it before the first date, don’t let it go past two dates without checking for everyone’s benefit. After all, if it doesn’t go any further, what has anyone lost?

  21. It’s always irritated me when somebody doesn’t identify who they are when calling for information about a shidduch. I see no reason to give potentially private information to an anonymous person. If I call up for information, I will always give my name even if it doesn’t mean anything to the person. If you don’t give your name it makes me think you have something to hide.

  22. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not asking someone calling about a shidduch what their name is, some people are afraid of seeming nosy and it’s not like the person can’t make up a name. The person doing the calling should identify themselves to be polite. If you know someone well enough to list them as a reference you should be able to ask them to let you know who asks them about you.

  23. heres what i think about this testing:

    First, if someone has a family member with a genetic disease that can be tested for carrying, then I think they should go to a lab or hospital that tells them *exactly* what they may be carrying, if anything. And then when they find a marriage partner, they can go to genetic counciling to figure out then.

    If someone asks on a 3rd date to do genetic counciling….Idk if I would let a needle in my arm that soon. But I guess you’d have to look at the situation.

  24. I think it’s fairly accepted to do Dor Yeshorim testing after about two dates and it can easily be done without making the other side think you’re too serious. Doing the testing before a first date seems like a bit much to me but I have heard of people asking for it.

  25. all this discussion about the genetic testing makes me want to write a post about it (having been actively involved in the planning/running of several genetic screening events on campus at YU). Dor Yeshorim does not tell you anything about the details (which has gotten them in hot water for not informing some clients when they themselves have Gaucher’s – which only manifests itself at a later stage).

    harryer – I usually get the call back from Dor Yeshorim within an hour or two.

    princess lea – it’s really much better to get the genetic compatibility check over with early on. It makes one less thing to worry about – and it shouldn’t (as Rav Goldvicht says) carry the stigma of suggesting that a proposal is around the corner. It’s just common sense.

    Regarding doing research – certainly it is important to do some research. I generally try to find out if the parents have shalom bayis, the family dynamics in general are normal (without awkward estrangement between parents or parents and kids), and if the person and the family have any history of serious illness. It can be very difficult to walk into a situation not knowing something – either for your own sake, such as a family history of BRCA-1 gene – which promotes a tendency for breast-cancer, or for his/her sake (like the time I was unaware of the girl’s eating disorder background and ended up being unknowlingly offensive and insensitive. Had I known about her past (and I always inquire about this now) I would have known that I needed to be sensitive to these issues.

  26. What’s wrong with asking who’s calling? I think if they are honest, they probably wouldn’t mind!

    About Dor Yesharim- in a way, it’s very helpful to just get it out of the way before you even go out. You donate the 4/5 tubes of blood one time, and you have your number for eternity. Then you just call up before going out. It’s really not a big deal- they give you a call back in about 1 hour, and tell you compatible or not compatible. Why even go out with someone even 1 time if you’re not compatible. It goes along with finding out about the person- you just get the DY number from them and presto- easy peasy.

    Funny story about DY- I had a whole bunch of people suggested to me at once- and I got the DY numbers from each of them. So, I called up DY and gave them one number, then called up later and gave them another number. I heard a pause, and then a question- “Didn’t you just give us a number to check up? Are you dating 2 people at the same time?” I laughed and explained. Seems that even they think that dating 2 people at the same time is gauche.

  27. No call to my home would make it past the initial person who answers the phone until a caller-name is given, phone number recorded, and what the call refers to. If a name is not given, a polite “sorry I can’t help you unless you give your name” would be spoken followed by a unilateral, abrupt disconnection.

  28. I’m with lawschooldrunk–no one gets to first base here unless they identify themselves with a name. Ditto for blocked caller ID numbers. Way better to be safe than sorry. And no, we don’t give out the type of information that could conceivably be used to access accounts where such information is commonly used. The shadchan should already have that information and have given over information such as a mother’s maiden name.

  29. It is illegal for anyone providing medical services to withold a patient’s medical record from the patient. Lab tests qualify as medical services. I don’t know how Dor Yesharim gets away with this. There are other non-profit organizations that offer subsidized testing.

    It is also illegal for them to give information about another party to you. Even saying that a shidduch is incompatible, to me seems a violation of confidentiality laws.

    I don’t know how they get away with all that. People should do their own genetic testing and take responsibility themselves.

    BTW, if a couple IS diagnosed with a genetic incompatibility, they can often do IVF with pre-implantation diagnosis (test the embryos), but that is very expensive… just saying that genetic incompatibility isn’t automatically a reason not to get engaged.

  30. saramaimon- before you level an accusation like that, make sure you have all your facts lined up. I am not claiming to be a legal expert, but DY does have a legal department, and they like any other corporation/non-profit, does not like getting sued.

    As for IVF with pre-implantation diagnosis, not only is it expensive, many genetic counselor and rabbis do not suggest it. there are halachic issues which come into play as well as psychological. Living your entire life on birth control can take a toll on the relationship, and knowing that you are only reproducing through that manner, as opposed to the normative fashion is problematic (albeit not completely assur) from a halachic perspective. Contact your own rabbi for advice on the subject.

    Although that reason is why many nowadays opt to use open testing as opposed to DY.

  31. Saramaimon – The whole DY secrecy thing is due to the stigma existing in the religious world about this, which would result in families being ostracized even if one member is a carrier – despite this not making any scientific sense. Therefore, all DY tells the couple is that they are compatible or not, leaving out whether one is a carrier for anything. As a private organization (i.e. not a hospital) they are allowed to come up with their own rules. People who submit blood to DY know what they are getting into. And as far as the release of private info, by your giving a prospective shidduch your number, you (the subject) tacitly agrees to the release of the info associated with that number – and remember, DY doesn’t say if only one is a carrier so there is no actual usable individualized info released. Only if both are carriers do they get told.

    You are free to use a different venue, of course, if you choose to get tested. I wanted to go get tested independently – I did want to know – but DY was by far the cheapest option, so I went with that.

  32. Pingback: Friday Repost: Make Them Identify Themselves « Bad for Shidduchim

  33. Pingback: To Know or Not to Care? | Bad for Shidduchim

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