How do thieves steal your identity?
There are several different ways for an identity thief to steal your personal information and use it for their own criminal enterprise:
- The thief uses an electronic device or a “skimmer” that is designed to read the magnetic strip or what it is commonly referred to as a magstripe on your debit and/or credit card to gain your account information.
- The information that is encoded on the magnetic strip is the account number, name, and expiration date.
- Skimming can occur when you use your ATM card at the local ATM machine.
- At the ATM machine, a skimming device is affixed over the original card slot and when you conduct an ATM transaction your information can be transmitted wirelessly to the thief.
- The information the thieves collected can now be encode on a gift card they will use as a credit card.
- The thief looks through your trash for bank and credit card statements and any other type of documents with your personal information on it.
- The thief pretends to be a financial institution or a company and sends spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal and banking information.
- The thief obtains your personal information under false pretenses from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.
- The thief hacks into your financial institution, steals your personal/credit information and sells it to other thieves to use.
The old fashion way – stealing:
- The thief steals your wallet, purse and mail. They even go as far as to bribe employees who have access to your personal information.