faking out address and credit card forms

Like many people, I buy things online. Unlike many people, I’m a bit of a privacy freak. I only use anonymous prepaid debit cards, and I don’t give out my real name, address, birthdate, or other personal information. If I’m buying something that needs to be shipped, I use a mail drop, not my home address.

Of course, most web sites ask for name, address, and phone number whether or not they need it. Some also check them against the name and address on your credit card using AVS.

Regardless, I avoid giving out my information. I’ve been keeping track of what can be ignored, what can be faked, and what has to be real on many ecommerce web sites I’ve used.

Of course, this is only useful when they don’t actually need your info. If you’re having something shipped to you, or you’re giving an address for legal purposes, you’ll obviously need to use a real address. For services that don’t need your address, though, or only need a billing address, this is fair game.

Note: I don’t discuss email addresses. If you don’t want to give out your real email address, but need an email address that you can receive email and reply from to “verify” it, consider Mailinator, plus addressing in GMail, or a vanity domain.

Also note: When I say dashes for everything else, you’ll sometimes need to put in an ok-looking zip code and/or phone number. 00000 and 000-000-0000 will almost always work.

Here’s the list. Feel free to add to it!

  • 1800Flowers: zip code must match card, two letters separated by a space for cardholder name; dashes for everything else

  • AllDomains: pick a US state; dashes for everything else

  • Barnes & Noble: valid city, state, and zip; dashes for everything else

  • Best Buy: very picky! valid city, state, zip and roughly valid address; name can be dashes

  • Circuit City: 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • Delta Airlines: address, city, state, and zip that match your credit card, since Delta uses AVS; phone number with valid area code and exchange (e.g. 650-900-0000)

  • DigitalRiver: matching state and zip (e.g. CA/90000), phone number with valid area code and exchange (e.g. 650-900-0000); dashes for everything else

  • EBay/PayPal: matching city, state, and zip (e.g. Los Angeles, CA, 90001), one letter each for first and last name (e.g. A B), phone number with valid area code and exchange (e.g. 650-900-0000); dashes for everything else

  • Fandango: 00000 for zip code; dashes for everything else

  • Gametap: pick a state, 00000 for zip code, one letter each for first and last name (e.g. A B); dashes for everything else

  • Google Checkout: pick a state, 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • Heavenly at Lake Tahoe: valid email, dashes for everything else, including cardholder name

  • iTunes: real city/state/zip, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • InCorp Services, Inc.: 00000 for zip code, dashes for everything else

  • JCWhitney: pick a state, 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone, one letter each for first and last name (e.g. A B); dashes for everything else

  • Kagi: dashes for everything, including cardholder name!

  • KQED: dashes for everything!

  • Kohls: real city/state/zip, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • LA Philharmonic: two dashes each for first and last name, five for street address, four for zip code, three for city and phone number, and “– –” for cardholder name.

  • Netflix: currently rejects all of my prepaid credit cards! :(

  • Orbitz: 00000 for zip code, phone number with valid area code, dashes for everything else. orbitz does strict address checking against your credit card’s billing address, though!

  • ReserveAmerica: valid email, one letter each for first and last name, phone number with valid area code (e.g. 650-000-0000), 00000 for zip code, dashes for everything else, including cardholder name

  • SWREG: pick a state, 00000 for zip code; dashes for everything else

  • Any Safepay/DirectOne merchant: pick a state, dashes for everything else

  • San Francisco Symphony: valid zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • Simon: 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone; dashes for everything else

  • Southwest: 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone, one letter for first name, two letters for last name (e.g. A Bc), one letter each for cardholder address line 1 and city (e.g. D, E); dashes for everything else

  • Steam: 00000 for zip code, 000-000-0000 for phone, pick a state, two letters each for first and last name (e.g. Ab Cd); dashes for everything else

  • TicketWeb: dashes for everything

  • United Airlines: two letters each for first and last name (e.g. Ab Cd), three letters for address, any state, 00000 for zip code; dashes for everything else

  • Vonage: dashes for everything

  • Winerz: 000-000-0000 for phone #(s), 00000 for zip code(s), dashes for everything else

  • WalMart: valid city/zip/state, one letter each for first and last name (e.g. A B), valid area code for phone number (e.g. 650-000-000); dashes for everything else

  • TerraPass: spaces for cardholder first and last name; any billing address

20 thoughts on “faking out address and credit card forms

  1. By this same logic, we can now stalk up on where Mr. Annonomy Shops now… you fandango! You should be ashamed of yourself, you are only helping them justify those annoying commercials in the begining of my movie, that I paid for, with stupid talking/singing lunch bags.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That would be pretty sad if someone did this for a registered agent, and they forwarded a service of process (which was delayed because the idiot put in a wrong Zip code) – then lost everything they owned in a judgment.

    I’ve seen this happen before because a client moved and didn’t provide a forwarding address. Lost a really nice house in Malibu, some 4×4’s, a small boat. It is conceivable that someone could have the same situation by giving a bogus address, or putting 00000 in the zip code.

    Most companies do periodically update their zip information (a few change every few months), but if someone puts in a wrong address for a registered agent, that would be like giving the lottery a bogus address.

    Even for a billing address – for example – in Florida if you’re one day late with your annual report – its something like $500. Also, it is notable that a LOT of companies use intelligent address correction.

  3. rusky- says:

    It seems everyone here has the same issue.  What concerns me why isn’t anything been done.?  Just to keep posting on here seems a waste of time because everyone has the same issue and nothing is being done.  We all know by now that the phone number 000-000-0000  is a bunch of bull.  What l did and is the best thing.  I programmed my caller ID with a prerecorded messaged telling them to kiss off.  I read one time in a consumer book someone put out it said do this if you want  telemarketers to stop calling.  What they suggested is the following.  (This only works if there is someone on the line). When these people start giving you their pitch say to them the following and l guarantee you they will not call back.  ASK THEM WHAT COLOR UNDERWEAR THEY ARE WEARING. It is as simple as that.  I have had a 95% hang up rate and no more return calls.  It may sound crazy but it works think about it.  It will work.

  4. in answer to rusky…
    you want to receive the telemarketing calls. 
    when you get one, interrupt them and POLITELY but FIRMLY insist that they remove you from their calling list.  they may try to rebuttal (their boss probably makes them do it), and again interrupt them and ask them politely but more firmly that time to remove you from ALL of their calling lists and all other lists, including mail. 
    by law, they have to comply, or they face hefty fines. 
    speaking of experience, sometimes you may get some young arrogant new-on-the-job asshole who will try to make your life difficult or schedule a callback (this is why you want to politely insist, not be an asshole first).  so protect against those, you may want to ask them to repeat, at the very beginning of the call, what company they represent and what company/call center they work for.  ask them to wait a moment while you write it down(dont ask for their name- you’ll get a hang-up and a rescheduled call), say “thank you, now would you go ahead and take me off your calling list and all other lists you may have”.
    you can also write to the DMA (direct marketing association) the-dma.org and most large companies will take you off their lists and stop mailing you and reselling your coordinates.

  5. Ok, now…correct me if I’m wrong. Isn’t the whole point of filling out an application whether it be for a credit card, or a flower delivery service supposed to be accurate?

    Sure, you can fake pretty much any kind of personal data you want, but if you really want the thing you’re applying for…why bother?

    I can see how with some offerings online (like MySp@c3 related stuff) you just want the content and don’t want to offer up any actual information…but if I’m applying for a home loan then I think having accurate information (including email address) is important.

  6. anonymo says:

    You use a mail drop instead of your home address? What’s a mail drop? I dont want to give my address where I don’t need to either but I’ve not heard of a mail drop… could you explain? is this like a PO box?

  7. anyone have a neteller card you can load them upwith prepaid things like UKASH and have an extra  program which makes up a one time credit card number for you so when you are finished it can´t be traced back to you.

  8. Jasmine says:

    How to trace the correct billing address of a credit card? Or is there a way to trace it if they give an address where in that is mismatch in AVS?

  9. Don’t know why there are so many critics (of this post) out there – actually companies shouldn’t ask for more information that they really require for the provision of their services. So I think this is quite helpful. By the way I don’t know If you’re still following this ..as the post is quite old…but I’ll still ask – is the above information valid for the Google Wallet (aka checkout) or some AVS etc. are applied now?

  10. thanks! you’re right, it is an old post, and I don’t really try to keep it updated, so many sites’ details (including Google Wallet) may have changed since I first added them here.

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