Identity thieves want your personal information and they are desperate to get it. These criminals use stolen personal IDs for their own illicit gain, and they will go to extreme lengths to steal your personal identifying information. Here is a list of ten (10) different ways your ID can be stolen without you even knowing it.
1) Dumpster Diving. Perhaps the easiest way to steal your ID. You might be surprised at all the stuff you inadvertently throw out that contains personal data. Identity thieves simply rummage through your trash to find any personal information you may have thrown away in the trash. Always shred any documents that have your name, social security number or any other identifying information on it before disposing of it.
2) Steal your bank, credit union, credit card, and other financial statements right out of your mailbox.
3) Divert your mail to another address by filling out a change of address form
4) Hack into a bank account or other financial institution.
5) Steal your PIN at a gas station or grocery store Point of Sale (POS), or at an ATM.
6) Clone your credit card number at bars and restaurants where the card is processed out-of -sight behind closed doors.
7) Theft of sales information or receipts from a retailer.
8) Hack into a store’s database to access customer information, rewards programs, etc.
9) Phishing attempts. Phishing rhymes with “fishing” and that’s exactly what it is – an attempt at fishing for your personal information by online ID criminals. You receive an email that appears to come from your bank, online retailer, or other legitimate company you do business with. The email will ask you to “confirm your account information” by supplying Social Security number, credit card or bank information or other information that is specific to your account. When you send the requested information the thieves can now use it to access your account to commit fraudulent transactions.
10) Theft of your personal information at an auto dealership or mortgage lender. This data is used to access the consumer’s credit history for fraudulent purposes.
In summary, you now have a list of some of the ways your ID can be stolen by criminals with malicious intent. Knowing how these crooks can steal your personal data puts you on the path to being more proactive in guarding your personal information and keeping it safe from fraudulent use.