- Using or opening a credit card account fraudulently
- Opening telecommunications or utility accounts fraudulently
- Passing bad checks or opening a new bank account
- Working in another person’s name
- Getting loans in another person’s name
- Dumpster diving – As the saying goes, one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
- Your mail box – An unlocked mail box receives delicious pieces of mail everyday, usually while people are not at home.
- Computer hard drives – Don’t sell or recycle your computer without taking out the hard drive!
- Stealing customer details from a business – A disgruntle employee, for example.
- Email phishing scams – Don’t click on links embedded in emails!
- TMI-O! – Too Much Information Online! Posting all your contact information online along with your resume, bio, and picture can give an identity thief enough nuggets to assume your identity.
- Pre-texting – Some identity thieves pretend to be telemarketers and get unsuspecting victims to give them many details. If a legitimate representative of a company wants you to upgrade, they’d never say, “to verify your account, could you please provide your number and password?” Hang up!
- Outright theft – Yes, there are still those old-schoolers out there who’ll just steal your wallet or purse.
- Threats that you may not even know about -- Like this one:
Please do not become overly paranoid. People still have to take risks in order to function in our society. Being a member of an online social network can help you stay in touch with friends. Posting your resume online could be vital to getting yourself a job. Offering your biography online could solicit new clients. But be diligent whenever you put information online. Do an on-line security assessment from time to time.
How can you protect yourself? There is no shortage of information on the internet offering advice for protecting yourself (e.g., frequently change your online passwords). Here are a few good ones: FTC ID Theft Help, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and Identity Theft Resource Center.