How Your Identity Can Be Stolen
Identity Theft has become a hot subject. There are numerous articles written about what can happen to you if your identity is “stolen”, i.e. opening up charge accounts in your name, draining money out of your bank account, diverting your mail, etc. but how your identity is stolen does not get the attention it deserves. The following are some of the things to watch out for:
…your identity can be stolen so remember to be vigilant.
- Your wallet or purses containing your identification and credit and bank cards are stolen.
- Your mail is stolen, including your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, telephone calling cards and tax information. The credit offers are especially dangerous. Even if you are in the DNS Debt Settlement Program it is possible that a new credit card might be issued in your name.
- A “change of address form” is filed by the identity thief in order to divert your mail to another location. By the time you realize something is wrong the damage is done.
- The thief rummages through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for personal data in a practice known as “dumpster diving.” We all get letters from credit card companies or other offers of credit; don’t just throw them away, destroy them.
- The identity thief fraudulently obtains your credit report by posing as a landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for, and a legal right to, the information. Your credit report contains your complete credit history and every charge or credit account you ever opened. This is a bonanza of information for the identity thief.
- Your home is a perfect place to get personal information. Repair people, telephone or cable installers or anyone else that comes into your home can get access to your personal information
- Your personal information can be bought from “inside” sources. For example, an identity thief may pay a store employee for information about you that appears on an application for goods, services or credit or buy your personal information from somebody where you work
These are just a few of the ways your identity can be stolen so remember to be vigilant.