1-HOW THEY STEAL YOUR IDENTITY ?
Knowing how an Identity Thief can get your information is one step to prevention
Here are some of the ways that have been used by identity thieves to get the information they need in order to do their dirty work.
Stolen mail and trash- Dumpster diving
has been around for quite awhile, too, but up until recently it was confined to
detectives, private investigators, and occasionally industrial espionage (like trying to find out who your
competitors clients are). Most Americans don't realize that once you throw something in your trash and
put it out to the curb for pickup, you don't have any "expectation to privacy", even though there are
sound legal arguments otherwise
There is a fairly simple fix for this, though. Keep a paper shredder or "burn bag" next your desk, and use
it on mail that has your personal information, like bank statements, credit card statements, utility bills, or
letters from bill collectors.
Garbage is the least valuable thing you own, right? While this is true in most cases, your garbage could become
a major expense if you do not watch out. With all of the bills that we pay and the
credit card offers
that we turn
down, there is a paper trail of garbage that contains some of our most personal information. Your garbage could
contain your credit card information, an old check that could be used to create forgeries, your name and address,
and all sorts of other information that could be used to steal your identity and your money. So while it seems
truly strange to imagine someone sifting through your garbage to take money from you, realize that there are
some pretty desperate and terrible people out there who would do just about anything to get a few dollars. If
someone were to go through your trash and find an unaccepted credit card offer they might only need to respond
to the credit card company and activate the card. At this point they could use the card to purchase just about
anything they wanted, and you would be responsible to pay for it. The same is true for old checks, which could
be used to forge a new check with your bank account information.
Realize that it doesnâ€™t take much skill or effort to create fairly convincing forgeries.Someone with a
standard printer and some computer software could print a check that looks almost exactly like a real one. The
check could even be deposited without any notice on the part of a bank. In many cases it would take a couple of
weeks before the bank realized that the check was a forgery, and at that point you could be in serious trouble
because the forger would be long gone.
Although banks and
credit card companies
can be forgiving in these situations, you never know how they will
respond, and if there is a lot of money involved you will probably have to pay a portion of it. The best way to
prevent this type of identity theft is to make sure that your garbage does not contain any information that could