|What to do|
Identity Theft is a common term used for all types of crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal data in some manner that involves fraud or deception, usually for economic gain. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
How Identity Theft is Committed
- Shoulder Surfing: Watching you punch in telephone calling card, credit card, ATM numbers.
- Business Record Theft: Stealing personal files from businesses or institutions where you are a customer, patient, employee etc.
- Scamming: Posing as a legitimate company or government agency to obtain your personal information. This often happens through e-mail.
- Phone Fraud: Establishing cellular phone service in someone else's name.
- Skimming: Stealing credit and debit card numbers as the card is being
scanned/processed to pay for a purchase, using a special data collection device known as a “skimmer”.
- Dumpster Diving: Going through your trash or the trash of businesses to obtain copies of checks, credit card/bank statements or other records.
- Mail Theft: Stealing mail to get new credit cards, bank or credit card statements, tax information as well as falsifying change of address information.
- Steal Wallet or Purse: Obtaining personal information from the theft of your purse or wallet.
- The Information Highway: Obtaining information that you share over the Internet.
- Spoofing and Phishing: When thieves set up look-alike websites of legitimate businesses and trick consumers into entering their personal information by sending e-mail messages that warn them that their account is about to expire or has been accessed illegally.