How Do ID Theft Thieves Get Your Information?

ID Theft: Knowledge is Power

If you’re worried about or have been the victim of ID theft, you probably wonder how in the world the ID theft thieves get your personal information in the first place. If you want to protect yourself from ID theft, you’ll need to know exactly how these criminals do it. The methods they use are varied, from cutting-edge high-tech to downright primitive. Here are some of the most common ways ID theft thieves get the information they’re after.

Dumpster Diving

One of the most primitive, yet most popular ways that ID theft criminals get a person’s personal information is by going through their trash. This is called dumpster diving. They dig through the trash in hopes of finding straight cut or unshredded papers with personal and bank information on them.


Sometimes an ID theft criminal will just steal the personal information from you by stealing your mail, your purse or your wallet. All of these things contain personal information that would be useful to an ID theft criminal.


Phishing is another common tactic that ID theft criminals use to get your personal information. Either via phone or via email, an ID theft criminal will “phish” for personal information and will trick you into giving them that information. That is why it is so important that you don’t give your personal information out over the phone or in response to an email solicitation.

They Buy It

Sometimes an ID theft thief will just buy your information from someone who already has it. That’s why it’s so important to know and understand the privacy policies of any of the websites and companies that you do business with.

They Steal It from a Business

Let’s say you filled out a credit card or loan application with XYZ Company. XYZ Company is then done with your application and they throw your mail out. Then an ID theft criminal dives the dumpster at this company and finds all of your personal information on the application. Unfortunately, it’s not as uncommon as you would think.

Your Computer

If your computer isn’t protected by a firewall, they may very well get the information from there. That’s why it’s so important to protect your computer properly.

By knowing how ID theft criminals get their information, you’ll be better able to protect yourself from their tricks of the trade.

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