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10 Ways That Thieves Make Identity Theft Happen

A the fastest growing crime in the United States, identity theft now victimizes over 10 million Americans per year. With advances in technology, criminals are becoming much more savvy in creating ways to steal from you. We can do something about it though. The better educated we are, and the better prepared we are, the more able we will be to prevent becoming yet another identity theft statistic.

With that in mind, we have listed 10 ways that criminals perpetrate identity theft. Some of these items will help you be more aware of your surroundings, and thus better able to guard against identity theft. The others you will not have a great deal of control over, but if you should happen to be victimized, you will have the knowledge that will enable you to trace the source of the identity theft.

1. Criminals go through your mail and take bills, bank statements, pre-approved credit cards offers, or any other information they can use.

2. Apply for a job, or open a checking account in your name, thereby establishing themselves as you in the eyes of those entities.

3. Phone your creditors claiming to be you, and changing the mailing address so they will receive your statements.

4. Steal your purse or wallet to get your credit cards and any other personal information, such as a your drivers license.

5. The disgusting art of dumpster diving. The thieves go through your trash to find unshredded bills and pre-approved credit card applications.

6. Shoulder surfing is when the bad guys look over your shoulder at ATMs and other point of purchase locations to watch you punch in your PIN number.

7. Phishing is when fraudulent emails are sent to you on the Internet, asking for your financial information, that look exactly like the ones from the companies you do business with.

8. Buy your financial information from dishonest employees that have access to credit card numbers and other personal information.

9. Open a checking account in your name and then writing as many bad checks that they can get away with before being discovered.

10.
Establish services such as cable, Internet, and phone in your name. They enjoy the benefits of the services while you get the bill.

The 10 points listed here are by no means all the ways in which identity theft is perpetrated. They are, however, some of the more common methods employed. With a little common sense, and a heightened awareness of your surroundings, you will be able to prevent many of these things from happening to you.

Don’t just chuck your old credit card and bank statements in the trash. Buy a quality paper shredder and use it. Try to take your mail in as soon as it comes, if possible. Be aware of who is around you when using your ATM or credit card. There is no foolproof way of preventing identity theft, but taking simple steps like these can protect you from becoming the next victim.

Related Information:

  1. 10 Ways to Minimize the Risk of Identity Theft Helpful tips and information on how to protect yourself from identity theft….
  2. 5 ways To Protect Yourself From Internet Identity Theft Five ways in which you can protect yourself from identity theft online….
  3. See How Identity Theft Insurance Can Protect You See how identity theft insurance can protect your identity in this modern age….
  4. Identity Theft Statistics – The Rising Tide They look at identity theft statistics and how quickly it is on the rise across America….