Victims of identity theft find that the police can’t do very much to help you either, because it can be hard to prove that the fraud ever took place. Wallet theft used to be the best method for identity thieves to get hold of Social Security numbers (SSNs), driver's licenses, credit card numbers as well as other pieces of identification. Right now they have several methods of getting your information without you knowing about it at all. Here’s how:
• "Dumpster diving" in trash bins is quite frequent. Thieves often look for un-shredded credit card as well as loan applications and anything else that can contain SSNs.
• Stealing mail from mailboxes which can give thieves access to brand new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, investment reports, insurance statements, and even tax information.
• Getting access to your credit report is done more easily if the thief is an employer, loan officer, or a landlord.
• Thieves can also retrieve names and SSNs from personnel or customer files in the workplace.
• Theft can also occur through shoulder snatching at ATM machines, direct debit purchases and phone booths is an easy way in order to get your pin numbers.
• Internet sources are also eligible for theft, such as via public records sites and fee-based information broker sites.
• Sending emails from your banks that request you to visit a web site that looks like the banks in order to confirm account information. This is called phishing and it has been getting increasingly popular in the past years.
Nevertheless, identity theft can’t be detected in every case as it is relatively easy due to lax credit industry practices, careless information-handling practices in the workplace, as well as the simplicity that goes along with getting SSNs. But you can diminish your fraud risks by following all the tips in this section.
The most important advice that can be given to you is to check your credit report at least once every year. This will help you to catch the fraud quicker. Here are some more tips that can help you.
More information on the next page of our guide: Identity Theft Prevention 2