Most of the common schemes begin at home without your knowledge. In fact, there are several ways to retrieve it without your permission, so you need to do everything you can do protect it.
Identity theft begins when someone takes your personally identifiable information such as your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, and your address to use it, without your knowledge or permission, for their personal financial gain.
There are many different types of schemes identity criminals use. This can range from non-technological to technological schemes. The following is a listing of just some of the most common methods identity criminals have been known to use to obtain your personal identifiable information. For each scheme, we provide recommendations on the methods you can use to thwart criminals from obtaining and using your information.
Dumpster diving occurs when someone goes through someone else’s garbage to obtain personal identifiable information off items found in the trash, such as credit card bills, utility bills, medical insurance, and bank statements. To protect yourself, you should shred everything before disposing of it with a cross-cut paper shredder. Another method to use is to go paperless by receiving statements and making your payments online.
Mail theft occurs when someone targets your mailbox and removes mail that has pertinent information on it. As in dumpster diving, a thief can take your credit card bills, bank statements; anything that can be used to steal your identity. At times, identity theft criminals have been known to re-route your mail without your knowledge or permission by submitting a change of address to the post office.