Identity Theft: How Criminals Steal Your Information

Identity Theft Secrets the Thieves Don’t Want You To Know

Believe it or not, there isn’t just one single way that identity theft thieves steal a victim’s information. There are a number of ways that are utilized when this type of crime is committed. When protecting yourself from identity theft, it’s important to know what tactics are used when stealing one’s identity. These are the things you should be watchful for.

Dumpster Diving

If you throw away your bank statements or your credit card statements without shredding them first, you may be at a serious risk of identity theft. Identity theft thieves often perform a practice called dumpster diving, where they will dig through the trash to get these statements, in order to get the information they need so they can steal your identity.

Theft of Purse or Wallet

Sometimes the theft of a purse or wallet isn’t as simple as someone wanting the cash that was in there. Sometimes they want a whole lot more than that -- sometimes they want your identity. Because of this, it’s important that you keep an extra special eye on your credit report and file a fraud alert if your wallet or purse has been recently stolen. People may be using the information they took to open new credit accounts in your name.

Email Phishing

You get an email, supposedly from your bank, asking you for some personal information. The thing is, this email isn’t really from your bank. It’s from an identity theft thieve who wants you to reply to the email so he or she can steal your identity. It’s important to never respond to an email that requests personal information from you.

On that token, also make sure you never follow a link in an email that requests your personal information. The link can lead to a bogus website with no other purpose than to gather your personal information to be used in an identity theft crime.

New Credit Offers

Unless you receive a new credit offer in the mail and you know it’s from a legitimate bank, don’t respond to any new credit offers you receive. You should never fill out a credit application via email and definitely don’t fill out a new credit application over the phone if someone calls you claiming to be a creditor.

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