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How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Thief stealing credit cardThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has investigated and identified the various methods that no-goodniks can use to steal your identity.

These methods include:

  1. Dumpster Diving – They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
  2. Skimming – They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  3. Phishing – They pretend to be financial institutions, companies or government agencies, and send email or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  4. Hacking – They hack into your email or other online accounts to access your personal information, or into a company’s database to access its records.
  5. "Old-Fashioned" Stealing – They steal 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.