Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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How Thieves can Steal your Identity

By Amanda Randell
Published: Friday, March 5th, 2010

Despite statistics that say there are almost ten million Americans falling victims to identity theft, people should not give up developing, understanding and applying identity theft protection measures. In fact, the alarming figure should be a good reason to continue fighting identity thieves. 

Not many people know how to exactly do identity theft protection. This could be because they do not really know how it happens. Well, there are many ways thieves use to get your personal information. When your identity is stolen, the thief can do countless things like create new credit accounts, purchase things under your name and even commit crime to other people.

More than that, if a bad person gets hold of your information, he can also commit physical harm to you and your family. Thus, identity theft protection should be taken really seriously. Identity thieves know that you protect your personal information. This is the reason why the first thing they do is to obtain even the smallest amount of information they can. They can easily apply for credit cards, bank accounts and medical benefits in your name. 

One way you can practice identity theft protection is to equip yourself with the awareness of how crooks obtain information. You might be shocked to discover some of their boldest attempts like physically snatching your purse or wallet, finding out where you work and stealing personal records or information from there, bribing employees on the job who have access to personal records, hacking personal records via computer, intercepting mail to steal credit card and bank account statements, credit offers, new checkbooks and important tax information.

Most tips on identity theft protection suggest that you apply anti theft software on your computer to prevent thieves from hacking your accounts. However, there are still those who steal the “old-fashioned” way. They take info from you by dumpster diving. They rummage through your trash bins in search of any information you might have carelessly thrown away. Some go as far as peeking over your shoulder in the checkout lane. Such is termed as “shoulder surfing”. Another way by which some thieves gather information is called skimming. This happens by capturing information from your credit or debit card in a data storage device.

Others have their way to divert your personal mail to another address by submitting a simple change of address form at the post office. Finally, the most common tactic that identity thieves use nowadays in the advent of emails and websites is in using an internet email and fraudulent web sites to trick you into giving out the information.

You might be a victim if you find out that some of your mails are missing. You should start investigating when important mails like routing bank account statements and credit card billing statements stop coming in. Another way to determine if identity thieves are monitoring you is when your trash seems to be tampered with.

In fact, some thieves take the entire trash bag with them. Finally, when you receive mails and notifications that you can not explain like invoices about items and services you never signed up for, there might be a need to investigate as well. So, it could be helpful to not regard all mails that you can’t identify with as junk because they could be clues leading to identity theft already happening.

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