An ID thief can get your information hundreds of ways. The goal of most identity theft scams is to access your credit card or bank account information. If you keep that in mind at all times, it can help you remain more vigilant about protecting your information and your money. Below are just some of the deceptions that criminals use to steal your identity.
INTERNET: Online “phishing” has become very popular. ID thefts occur when you receive emails from people posing as legitimate companies asking for your contact or credit card information. Some will directly ask you to send them a check.
RECORDS: ID thieves can hack your records through a computer, pay off company employees to gain access to your records, or even steal the records directly from a company. “Dumpster diving,” which is sifting through trash, is another way they can gain access to your records or mail.
MAIL: ID thieves can easily steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, checks, tax information and more. They will even steal the mail you leave for the postman if your mailbox isn’t secure. They may fill out a change of address form in your name and send it back – so they receive your mail.
ATMs: ID thieves can capture your ATM Card information using a technique called “skimming” They get your information by attaching a data storage device to an ATM machine and get your information when you swipe your card.
DIRECT THEFT: ID thieves may steal your wallet, purse, or financial information from your house. They will then use your credit cards, ATM cards, checks and any personal information they find for their own financial gain.
Listed below are some of the latest ID theft scams (IDTheftCenter.org):
There are many additional forms of Identity theft, including criminal ID theft, where someone stopped by law enforcement might give the officer your name and contact information. There is also ID cloning, where a criminal uses your contact information to start a new life portraying you. This is popular for illegal immigrants or criminals hiding from the law.