Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or personal information, such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, telephone number or other account numbers, without your permission. Identity thieves use this information to open credit accounts, bank accounts, telephone service accounts, and make major purchases – all in your name.
Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse. But there are many other ways that criminals can get and use your personal information in order to commit identity theft. The following are some examples:
(pronounced “fishing”) refers to fraudulent communication designed to deceive consumers into divulging personal, financial or account information. Phishing e-mails continue to be prevalent for individuals and companies. Spoofing well-known companies, these e-mails ask consumers to reply, or “click” a link to a fraudulent web page that will ask for personal information, such as their credit card number, Social Security number or account password.
(also called “Vishing”) is another way fraudsters try to collect sensitive information from you. In this type of fraud, the fraudster will either contact you by telephone or send you a fake e-mail and ask for you to respond by telephone.
occurs when criminals physically go through your trash receptacle in an effort to find information you discarded.