Common ways identity theft & fraud are committed

Most people don’t realize how easy it is for someone to steal your identity without breaking into your home. In public places criminals may engage in what they call shoulder surfing, watching at a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card or a credit card number. They may also listen in on a conversation as you give a credit card number over the telephone to a rental company or hotel.

The area near your home or office may not be safe. Criminals can engage in what they call “Dumpster Diving” and go through you trash, communal dumpster to obtain checking account numbers, credit card applications, and bank statements. These types of documents make it easy for criminals to steal your identity.

If you receive pre-approved credit card applications in the mail and disregard them without shredding them, identity thieves will try to activate them without your knowledge. Some credit card companies require credit cards once approved to be activated from your home phone, but this practice is not universal yet. Also if you mail is sent to a place where it can be easily accessed a identity thief may redirect that mail somewhere else.

During recent years the internet has been a target of identity theft. Criminals try to get personal information by spamming people and requesting personal information posing as a bank. They also sent e-mails offering some service that really is not present.

With enough of you personal information a identity thief can take over your identity and wreck your life. They can drain your banks accounts, saving accounts, charge up your credit cards, apply for new credit, and file bankruptcy in your own name. This is serious business. This will also destroy your free credit reports and good name.

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.