There are many ways identity thieves can steal your personal information – both online and offline. Some common ways identity thieves access unauthorized information are below:
- Dumpster Diving – Rummaging through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming – Stealing credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing – Pretending to be a financial institution, company or government agency and sending emails or text messages asking you to reveal your personal information via an email, text message, phone call or website pop-up message.
- Hacking – Hacking into your email or other online accounts to access your personal information, or into a company’s database to access its records.
- “Old-Fashioned” Stealing – Stealing wallets and purses, mail (including bank and credit card statements), pre-approved credit offers and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.