Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Some Creative Ways of Stealing another Person’s Identity

By Amanda Randell
Published: Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

A crime can be considered an art, relative to how it was successfully executed. The more discreet it has been done, then the near perfect it was executed. This also goes with identity theft as it quickly progresses in becoming one of the most common crimes all over the world. Identity theft happens when people gain access to personal information and uses them to fulfill their own reasons. This article contains only some of the identity theft methods used by criminals as outlined by various government reports:

  • They try to get information in the institutions you are associated with (e.g. your workplace, school) by:
  • stealing records from your boss’ or principal’s office
  • bribing an authorized personnel who could access your records
  • hacking into the office’s or school’s computers
  • They even go to the extent of going through your trash – both in your home or in the institutions where your records can be found. This practice is called dumpster diving.
  • They pose as someone with authority and has a legal right to the information needed (e.g. landlord, employer).
  • They involve themselves in skimming – a criminal practice that uses a special information storage device to steal credit and debit card numbers.
  • They also mess with your mail – bank and credit card statements, preapproved credit offers, new checks, or tax information.
  • What is even worse is that they direct your supposed mail to their hidden location by completing a “change of address form”.
  • Lastly, they can always go back to the basic – stealing wallets and purses, or breaking through homes.

In addition to the list of identity theft methods, one of the newest forms of identity theft is called phishing. Phishing happens when you enter sensitive information to an unknowingly fraud site. Criminals set up an email address and/or website that is/are designed to look into legitimate businesses that you already do business with. Of course, in business, the exchange of personal information is unavoidable. The result? You become the cause of the crime.

I have to admit that I am impressed on how people can be so creative when they are so desperate. But this impression shouldn’t be an inspiration for anyone out there to continue this kind of illegal practice. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States of America, there are over 10 million theft victims every year. In every 4 seconds, someone has their identity stolen.

Who knows? It could be you who is reading this article right now.

These are identity theft facts. Take them seriously. Don’t be a victim.

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