Check out These 13 Identity Theft Techniques

Do you know all the different ways your personal information can be stolen for identity theft? Some of these might surprise you

Identity theft is an ever-evolving crime. You think you know all the techniques and tricks of the thieves and then...they come up with a new one. We compiled a list of 13 different ways thieves steal your personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

1. Dumpster diving

Yep. This is what it sounds like. Thieves go through your trash and pick through the mail you've thrown away. Shredding everything in today's society is essential. But it's especially important to shred anything containing your personal information on it.

2. Information retrieval

This sneaky technique slips past most people. Have you ever gotten rid of computers or other electronic equipment containing personal information? Thieves regularly check those dump sites. While they have little interest in a computer; they desire your hard drive with personal information on it. Avoid identity theft and have your hard drive professionally erased before disposing it.

3. Victim research

Yes, even thieves do their research. But, in this case, they research you. Identity thieves search government registers, Internet search engines, and public records search services to gain the bits and pieces of information they need.

4. Pick pocketing

Most people think pickpockets don't exist anymore -- too low-tech. Think again. Pickpockets are alive and well and after your wallet -- complete with debit and credit cards. Whatever you do... do not store your PIN number in your wallet. This is the pick pocketer's greatest treasure.

5. Skimming

Skimming requires a device attached to an ATM or credit card machine. The device reads the magnetic strip on your bank, credit or debit card, which thieves use to commit fraud. Prevent identity theft by remaining alert to signs of strange devices on your machine.

6. Remote thievery

If you have a contactless or smartcard credit card, you could be in danger of this type of crime. Thieves read cards remotely with a compact radio frequency device.

7. Shoulder surfing

Shoulder surfing is another low-tech but efficient form of theft. The thief simply eavesdrops on transactions you make in public and pick up whatever useful information you disclose.

8. Computer identity theft

With the use of Trojan horses (a type of computer virus), hacking, and Zero day attacks, thieves get personal information from your computer.

9. Data breach

Most public offices try not to do this anymore, but every once in a while it still happens. This is when an office displays sensitive information, such as your social security number, on a label or in the newspaper.

10. Employment scams

These scams advertise a bogus job and request personal information. Never give out personal identification information without knowing whom you are dealing with.

11. Organization infiltration

Sometimes large organizations or corporations can be infiltrated and employee information stolen. Company identity theft happens when proper firewalls are not used.

12. Phishing

Phishing grows daily as an effective source for identity thieves. They send phony, but authentic looking emails requesting personal information. Again, never, ever give out personal information to anyone you do not know personally. Be careful that you are really on the website you think you are on rather than a bogus on. And be sure your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up to date.

13. Social networking

Thieves regularly troll social networking sites to steal personal information they can use to commit fraud. Prevent identity theft on social networking sites by staying constantly informed on privacy measures.

Well... how did you do? Did you know the numerous ways for thieves to commit identity theft? Now you do, so take the time to review this list and see where your weaknesses lie so you protect yourself from identity theft.

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