Consumers have to be wary of identity thieves simply because of the many different methods criminals can use to access their sensitive financial data, from dumpster diving to hacking and even devices that skim information from ATM machines.
However, a recent arrest in Los Angeles illustrates how people can become victims of identity theft as a result of being targeted for robbery in general.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police are looking for a suspect who was captured on film smashing a vehicle's window and stealing a purse. The man then apparently used a card from the stolen purse to fill his SUV with $70 worth of gasoline.
To avoid crimes like these, people are generally advised to never leave valuables in the car or glove compartment. If they must do so, leaving items in the trunk is generally considered to be a safer option. The risk of having items stolen from a car can be even higher during the holiday shopping season, although thieves do remain active any time of year.
Another common example along these lines is a growing number of house burglaries where financial data is stolen and used to commit identity theft.