Home  What Is ID Theft? How Does ID Theft Happen

How Does ID Theft Happen

How Does Identity Theft Happen?

The only thing an identity thief needs is your Social Security Number, your birth date or, sometimes, identifying information as basic as your address, driver’s license number and phone number.

Some of the places identity thieves get this information include:
  • Purses/wallets
  • Personal information kept in your car (especially your glove box)
  • Receipts tossed in the trash
  • Overhearing conversations you have in public
  • Information stolen from your mailbox
  • Diverting your mail to another location by filling out a “change of address form”
  • Looking over your shoulder when you use your credit cards or the ATM
Some thieves use technology to get your information:
  • "Phishing" or "pfarming" for information via e-mail
  • "Pretexting" phone calls where the caller needs you to give information over the phone
  • Computer hacking
But the most surprising might be when a dishonest employee snatches your personal information where you least expect it:
  • Physician offices
  • Attorney or accountant offices
  • Health insurance carriers
  • Stores where you shop or apply for credit cards
  • Restaurants
And once an identity theft has your information, they are then able to sell it to other crooks.