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Introduction
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
• Financial Theft
• Utility Theft
• Tax Return Theft
• Benefits Theft
• Vo...
Something’s not right.
!
You’ve just returned from a fun day of shopping and sightseeing, and you’re ready to
relax. But s...
Identity Theft 101: Volume 1
2
Click Image to Play Video
What	
  is	
  Identity	
  Theft?
!
The Federal Trade Commission e...
Chapter 1
What is
Identity Theft?
Hopefully, this situation has never happened to you, but if it has, you’re not alone.
According to the Federal Trade Commi...
This is identity theft and, like a thief hijacking your car and taking it speeding down a
busy highway, identity thieves c...
1. Financial Theft
!
Financial identity theft is when someone uses your personal information or a misplaced
debit or credi...
“[T]hey visited the page of the scammer, and it [didn't] look real …The note claimed, as
many other phishing notes to user...
2. Utility Theft
!
Identity theft is not all about credit cards and bank accounts. Identity thieves can also
use your pers...
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
9
3. Tax Return Theft
!
That’s right: identity thieves can pretend to be you to get the...
Taxpayers can
encounter identity
theft involving their tax
returns in several ways.
One instance is where
identity thieves...
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
11
4. Benefits Theft
!
Most people realize that their Social Security Number can be exp...
5. Voter Fraud
!
This category might not attack your financial stability, but it does strike at the heart of
your democrat...
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
13
6. Employment Theft
!
Individuals with criminal records and undocumented individuals...
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
14
7. Medical Theft
!
By now, you’re starting to see how scary all this identity theft ...
A thief can use your
name or health
insurance numbers to see
a doctor, get prescription
drugs or get other care. If
the th...
8. Criminal Theft
!
Why take the fall for a crime, when you can just give the cops someone else’s name and
Social Security...
Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft?
17
9. Child Identity Theft
!
When someone uses an adult’s credit card or damages an adu...
Identity thieves love this situation because it means, with no one looking for foul play,
they can use the child’s identit...
Unfortunately, identity thieves rarely stop at one of the above forms of ID theft. Once
they’ve committed one, they almost...
Chapter 2
How Does Identity
Theft Happen?
In 2013, story appeared in the news about a thief who had withdrawn $7,500 from the
account of one Erick Lee at a grocery ...
Not to mince words, yes, identity theft can happen to you. It can happen to anyone. But
understanding how it occurs is the...
1. Stealing Vulnerable Purses/Wallets
!
Wallets and purses are hugely convenient. They make one tidy place where you carry...
Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen?
24
2. Breaking Into Your Mailbox
!
Yes, your mail says a lot about you. Most li...
3. Redirecting Your Mail
!
But why break into people’s mailboxes to get other’s personal information when you can
just hav...
5. Trapping You on the Internet
!
The Internet is largely anonymous. This is great for leaving comments or making online
p...
Phishing
(sometimes called
carding or brand
spoofing) uses e-mail
messages that purport
to come from
legitimate businesses...
Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen?
28
Click Image to Play Video
Phishing:	
  At	
  Home
!
Phishing is a type of sc...
Their description of which companies these emails can come from is honestly scary.
They include eBay, PayPal, Citigroup, Y...
Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen?
30
6. Impersonating a Credit Authority
!
Pretending to be a credible company is...
Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen?
31
Click Image to Play Video
Hang	
  Up	
  on	
  Phone	
  Fraud
!
The Federal T...
7. Hacking
!
Instead of tricking you into handing out your personal information, some identity will
just break in and take...
Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen?
33
The bottom line of all this is clear: identity thieves have an arsenal of to...
Identity Theft 101
Identity Theft 101
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Identity Theft 101

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Learn all the basic information you need to know about identity theft. We'll tell you exactly what it is and how it happens.

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Transcript of "Identity Theft 101"

  1. 1. Introduction Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? • Financial Theft • Utility Theft • Tax Return Theft • Benefits Theft • Voter Fraud • Employment Theft • Medical Theft • Criminal Theft • Child Identity Theft Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? • Stealing Vulnerable Purses/Wallets • Breaking Into Your Mailbox • Redirecting Your Mail • Dumpster Diving • Trapping You on the Internet • Impersonating a Credit Authority • Hacking • Taking Information Through Other Means 1 3 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 20 !
  2. 2. Something’s not right. ! You’ve just returned from a fun day of shopping and sightseeing, and you’re ready to relax. But something feels out of place. ! You check for your cell phone. Got it. ! Your glasses? Check. ! Your hand goes to your back pocket, where your wallet usually rests, and your stomach drops. Your pocket is empty. A frantic sweep of your house and your car and retracing your steps back to the cafe where you had lunch confirms your worst fears: your wallet has been taken. ! But then it gets worse. ! You call your bank to get help, but they regretfully inform you that someone has purchased a $900 bicycle, a top-of-the-line video game console, and $10,256 worth of clothes from Nordstrom with your credit card. Their latest purchase was in the next state over. You put a lock on your credit card, but the damage has been done. Thanks to one thief’s shopping spree, your credit card is maxed out, and you’re left holding the bill. ! You just became the latest victim of identity theft. Identity Theft 101: Volume 1 1
  3. 3. Identity Theft 101: Volume 1 2 Click Image to Play Video What  is  Identity  Theft? ! The Federal Trade Commission explains what identity theft is and the routine steps you can take in order to protect your personal information as well as reduce your risk to identity fraud.
  4. 4. Chapter 1 What is Identity Theft?
  5. 5. Hopefully, this situation has never happened to you, but if it has, you’re not alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity thieves claim 19 new victims every minute of every day. This adds up to about 10 million identity theft victims every year. ! With the growing dangers of identity theft, the definition of what it is seems to get broader every year, but the FTC offers a simple enough definition: ! “Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission.” ! In practical terms, that means that if someone gets their hands on any of your personal information that could be used to make them seem like they’re you—think Social Security Numbers, driver’s license cards, birth certificates, or credit card numbers—they can start using that information to buy things, apply for credit cards, or perform a host of other fraudulent activities in your name. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 4
  6. 6. This is identity theft and, like a thief hijacking your car and taking it speeding down a busy highway, identity thieves can turn your once-stable life into an absolute mess. ! But, although they all involve taking your personal information to do nefarious things with it, there are more types of identity theft than you might think. Knowing what these different types are is the first step to protecting your identity. ! In an age where your credit card number, Social Security number, or driver’s license can be used to literally assume your identity, you might not realize just how much damage people can do to your life. There are a host of other identity theft dangers lurking out there. The sooner you learn to recognize those dangers, the sooner you’ll be able to protect yourself from them. They break down roughly into these nine categories: Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 5
  7. 7. 1. Financial Theft ! Financial identity theft is when someone uses your personal information or a misplaced debit or credit card to spend money on your behalf. Sometimes, this comes in the form of a missing wallet, but other more subtle means can be used to steal your money. ! For instance, by sifting through your garbage, identity thieves can dig up vital information like your Social Security number, credit and debit card numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, and more. They use this information to hack into your bank account or even apply for credit cards in your name. ! Other thieves will put up fake pages on the Internet where they tell you that you need to enter your credit card information to pay some random fee. Confused, you pay the fake fee and give them all that precious information. ! Most recently, identity thieves attempted to use Facebook to grab users’financial information by tricking them into clicking on a link that took them to a counterfeit Facebook profile: ! Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 6 9 Types of Identity Theft
  8. 8. “[T]hey visited the page of the scammer, and it [didn't] look real …The note claimed, as many other phishing notes to users of the network in the past have, that the user’s account would be disabled in 12 hours if they [didn't] click on the link to reconfirm their account. It also [claimed] that their account [would be] reported as violating“the policies that are considered annoying or insulting Facebook users.”   ! This kind of online identity theft (known as phishing) is sadly in every corner of the Internet and they are frighteningly successful in their attacks. According to a recent study by Trusteer, an IBM company, based on a sample of 3 million bank customers, 45 percent of customers fell for the study’s fake phishing attacks. ! In any of these cases of financial identity theft, the result is the same: thieves spend your and your credit card company’s money. You are left with the burden of repaying these missing funds, fixing your damaged credit, and dealing with the host of issues that can follow. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 7
  9. 9. 2. Utility Theft ! Identity theft is not all about credit cards and bank accounts. Identity thieves can also use your personal information to get utility services at no charge to them. Phone services and cable are favorites. But how does this happen? ! Think back to the last time you had to get a new phone line or cable set up. You called the phone or cable company, you gave them your name, address, and account information, you signed their contract, and then they set up everything for you. But there was one crucial step they didn’t take. They never asked for a picture ID. They never questioned if you were really the person you said you were. ! Now imagine this same situation, except with someone who has your name and other personal information. They go to the phone company to get a new line, or put in cable at their house. But they have no intention to ever pay for those utilities. Instead of giving the utility companies their own information, they give them yours. And then they conveniently neglect to pay for the services, month after month. A bill quickly racks up in your name. ! Eventually, the utility company cuts off their services, but, by Hera, someone’s going to pay for all that cable. And the only name the cable or phone company has is yours. In their manhunt for the thieves who enjoyed their services without paying, the utility guys end up on your doorstep, and they’re determined to make someone pay. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 8
  10. 10. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 9 3. Tax Return Theft ! That’s right: identity thieves can pretend to be you to get their grubby paws all over your annual tax returns. ! While this particular threat won’t remove money from your own bank account, it can make it more difficult to get your tax returns. If you’ve been counting on a tax return to cover your needs, tax return theft can cause bigger problems. ! This is how the Internal Revenue Service explains it:
  11. 11. Taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One instance is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person’s identifying information. Innocent taxpayers are victimized and their refunds are delayed.
  12. 12. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 11 4. Benefits Theft ! Most people realize that their Social Security Number can be exploited by identity thieves, but they might not realize that thieves can use their personal information to steal their Social Security retirement benefit checks. ! Seniors and other retirees, in particular, are at risk of benefits theft, as they are of the age when they’re supposed to receive their benefits. But this doesn’t afflict only seniors. Identity thieves have been know to use the names and Social Security numbers of deceased individuals to take their benefits checks.
  13. 13. 5. Voter Fraud ! This category might not attack your financial stability, but it does strike at the heart of your democratic rights. Identity thieves can use your personal identification information to place a vote at the polls on Election Day. When you consider that less than 54 percent of voting-aged Americans turn out to vote for the presidential office, it’s not hard to imagine identity thieves taking advantage of the other 46 percent who won’t show up. ! To understand just how big this problem, consider these figures collected by TrueTheVote.org: ! • ”More than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, yet remain on the rolls nationwide.” • There are over 1.8 million dead voters still eligible on the rolls across the country. • More than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state. • Federal records showed 160 counties in 19 states have over 100 percent voter registration. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 12
  14. 14. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 13 6. Employment Theft ! Individuals with criminal records and undocumented individuals have been known to use others’Social Security numbers to get jobs. Whatever they do while employed under your name inevitably becomes attached to your job record. ! A second form of employment ID theft is when identity thieves put up a fake job posting pushing applicants to enter their personal information on an online form. In what is essentially another form of phishing, job hopefuls give up their personal info. Instead of a job, they get the headache of having someone wreaking havoc with their finances.
  15. 15. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 14 7. Medical Theft ! By now, you’re starting to see how scary all this identity theft stuff can be. It’s one thing to have identity thieves use your credit card to purchase a big-screen TV, but what if they used your Social Security number and health insurance group number to purchase $500K cosmetic surgery? In an instant, you would owe more than you owe on your house for some stranger’s tummy tuck. ! Even the more benign kinds of medical identity theft can be dangerous. As doctors consult patients’medical histories to treat them, having an identity thief’s history mixed up with your own can result in mis-diagnoses by doctors, sometimes with disastrous consequences. ! The FTC warns:
  16. 16. A thief can use your name or health insurance numbers to see a doctor, get prescription drugs or get other care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, your treatment, insurance and payment records, and credit may be affected.
  17. 17. 8. Criminal Theft ! Why take the fall for a crime, when you can just give the cops someone else’s name and Social Security number? That’s exactly what happens in criminal record identity theft. Criminals who get busted use your personal information in place of their own. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, this is what happens: ! “[A]n impostor gives another person’s name and personal information such as a drivers’ license, date of birth, or Social Security number (SSN) to a law enforcement officer during an investigation or upon arrest.” ! They go on to explain that these impostors, upon getting a traffic or misdemeanor violation, will use counterfeit driver’s licenses, state ID cards, or other forms of identification. Sometimes they even stoop so low as to use the name of a friend or family member in place of their own. They sign a citation promising to appear in court. And then comes the really bad part… for you. ! “If the impostor does not appear in court, the magistrate may issue a bench warrant, but the warrant of arrest will be under the victim’s name. The victim may unexpectedly be detained pursuant to a routine traffic stop and then subsequently arrested and taken to county jail (booked) because of the outstanding bench warrant.” Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 16
  18. 18. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 17 9. Child Identity Theft ! When someone uses an adult’s credit card or damages an adult’s credit score, chances are pretty good that adult will notice that something is amiss within a week at the most. But if an identity thief sets up a credit card account under a child’s name, no one is looking for it. ! According to the Identity Theft Resource Center: ! “A child has NO legitimate usage for their SSN in terms of finances. They aren’t old enough to legally acquire credit, or take out loans, or even have a bank account without a parent or guardian co-signing.” ! ! !
  19. 19. Identity thieves love this situation because it means, with no one looking for foul play, they can use the child’s identity to freely max out credit cards and loans for a long time before anyone notices. ! But, you ask, why would a bank or credit card company give a loan or a credit account to someone with a child’s Social Security number? Because banks and other institutions have no way of distinguishing a child’s SSN from an adult’s. They can’t see the age of the holder of the SSN. ! Sadly, this means that children are even more at risk of identity theft than adults. They can potentially have their credit ruined by identity thieves before they even reach the fifth grade. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 18
  20. 20. Unfortunately, identity thieves rarely stop at one of the above forms of ID theft. Once they’ve committed one, they almost always use your personal information to commit fraud in other areas. And you’re the one who ends up paying. ! By now, you’re probably realizing just how precious your personal identification information is and how important it is that you protect it. You’re also likely feeling pretty paranoid about who’s out there waiting to steal it. Luckily, we here at BestIDTheftCompanys.com have a myriad of tips and guidelines to help you safeguard your identity and keep identity thieves at bay. Chapter 1: What is Identity Theft? 19
  21. 21. Chapter 2 How Does Identity Theft Happen?
  22. 22. In 2013, story appeared in the news about a thief who had withdrawn $7,500 from the account of one Erick Lee at a grocery store branch of Wells Fargo in Lubbock, California. The thief might have gotten away clean had he not returned the next day with a falsified Social Security card to empty the remaining $25,000 in the account. It was his return that tipped off bank employees. ! When police officers arrived at the bank, they found that the thief’s age was inconsistent with the birthdate on his driver’s license and arrested him. Fortunately, he was convicted and sentenced to spend two years in federal prison in addition to paying Wells Fargo $27,800 in restitution. ! This is the kind of story that makes us clutch our wallets or purses and pray that it never happens to us, but this story at least had a happy ending. The identity thief was apprehended and amends will be made. Unfortunately, hundreds of identity theft cases don’t end on such a happy note. ! According to Cyber-Dome.com, 11 million Americans fell victim to identity thieves in 2009 alone and each lost an average of $5,000 in repayment, legal help, and paperwork. ! All of this is enough to make any sane person wonder: how could this happen? Inevitably comes the second, even more chilling, question: could this happen to me? Identity Theft 101: Volume 1 21
  23. 23. Not to mince words, yes, identity theft can happen to you. It can happen to anyone. But understanding how it occurs is the first step to improving your odds of fighting off an identity attack. They all have one thing in common: they all involve thieves trying to grab your personal information to pretend to be you for their monetary benefit. ! Here are the eight most common ways identity thieves catch you while your guard is down and seize your personal information.. ! 1. Stealing wallets and purses that contain ID cards, credit cards, or bank information. ! 2. Stealing your mail including credit and bank statements, phone or utility bills, new checks, and tax information. ! 3. Completing a“change of address form”to redirect the destination of your mail. ! 4. Rummaging through your trash for discarded personal data in a practice known as“dumpster diving.” ! 5. Taking personal information that you share or post on the Internet. ! 6. Breaking into your records through hacking, paying others to give access, etc. ! 7. Impersonating a credit authority. ! 8. Taking personal information through other means. ! This is quite a list, so we’ll start at the top and explain each one. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 22
  24. 24. 1. Stealing Vulnerable Purses/Wallets ! Wallets and purses are hugely convenient. They make one tidy place where you carry your personal ID, credit cards, and other important items. But they also make a nice tidy package for thieves, containing your: ! • Driver’s license • Debit and credit cards • Insurance cards • Social Security card ! Unlike with filing cabinets or computer files, we tend to leave wallets in our pockets, sitting on tables and countertops, forgotten in your passenger seat. We take them everywhere, and all it takes is one forgetful moment for your purse to fall into the wrong hands. With one quick grab at a mall or restaurant, identity thieves can snatch all of your most important important information and do untold damage to your name and your finances. ! Just how much identity theft is due to stolen wallets and purses? According to a 2009 survey by Javelin Research, a whopping 43 percent of identity theft starts with a stolen wallet. That’s nearly half! ! Keep in mind, these numbers include instances where wallets and purses are snatched off someone’s person and also instances where wallets and purses are left in public and then picked up. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 23
  25. 25. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 24 2. Breaking Into Your Mailbox ! Yes, your mail says a lot about you. Most likely, it’s more than you want to share with identity thieves. Although the mail has been a mainstay of communication for decades, it now poses a huge risk. Identity thieves can literally walk right up to your mailbox and take what they want. ! Surprisingly, many organization continue to send the most sensitive of documents through the mail, including: ! • Banks • Credit card companies • The Department of Motor Vehicles • The Social Security Administration • The Internal Revenue Service ! Taking a glance at the types of documents you receive through mail from these organizations, it’s not hard to imagine the havoc they could wreak on your life. Driver’s licenses, debit cards, Social Security cards, birth certificates, personal checks—they’re all up for grabs in your mailbox.
  26. 26. 3. Redirecting Your Mail ! But why break into people’s mailboxes to get other’s personal information when you can just have it sent to your own mailbox? Unfortunately, the change of address form, which was made to help movers reroute their mail to their new location, can also be used by identity thieves to grab your personal information before it even gets to your house. ! In this case, however, victims aren’t even aware that their mail has been tampered with until a few months later when it dawns on them that they haven’t been receiving any communications from the bank or their mortgage company. And that’s a long time for identity thieves to have access to your finances. ! 4. Dumpster Diving ! You know how they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, that is literally true for identity thieves. Not content with raiding people’s mailboxes or pilfering wallets, identity thieves aren’t above digging through trash cans and dumpsters in search of your personal information. ! All that stuff that comes in the mail, as well as any other documents you keep around the house, often ends up in your garbage. After all, you can’t hold onto it forever. But this means that your bank statements, credit card statements, and other sensitive documents are sitting in your trash receptacle choice, waiting to be harvested by identity thieves. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 25
  27. 27. 5. Trapping You on the Internet ! The Internet is largely anonymous. This is great for leaving comments or making online purchases. Sometimes you just want to be left alone as you browse. But identity thieves also take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet, pretending to be credible or friendly long enough to get you to hand over your personal information. ! Online identity theft has been around almost as long as the Internet itself. Some of the greatest hits include the“Nigerian Prince”email. In this scam, email users received messages from a fictional prince in Nigeria (or some other African nation) asking for the user’s help in wiring millions of dollars to their bank account in exchange for a sizeable commission. When the user handed over their bank account information, the identity thieves who’d sent the fake email could suck all the money out of the user’s bank account. ! Another greatest hit was the“work from home”scam, which promised to get users set up to make a six-figure income from home… for a small fee. Users entered their credit card information to pay for the setup package, only to find themselves waiting and waiting for something that didn’t exist. The“work from home”promoters were actually identity thieves, who had set up the whole scam just to grab users’credit card information. ! Now there are a host of online identity theft threats out there, the most prevalent of which is phishing. Yet another weird word, phishing is defined by Computerworld  like this: Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 26
  28. 28. Phishing (sometimes called carding or brand spoofing) uses e-mail messages that purport to come from legitimate businesses that one might have dealings with.
  29. 29. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 28 Click Image to Play Video Phishing:  At  Home ! Phishing is a type of scam that defrauds an online account holder of their personal information by posing as legitimate company. Many users will see emails that say something similar to“update your account information now before you get locked out.” This will lure real account users to type in their personal information so the impostor can now use for their own benefit.
  30. 30. Their description of which companies these emails can come from is honestly scary. They include eBay, PayPal, Citigroup, Yahoo!, Best Buy, even insurance agencies. In short, they can come almost any company you’ve had contact with and they can look completely legitimate. ! So if phishing emails look like the real thing, how will you know them when you see them? They usually go something like this: ! 1. You receive an email message with the logo and branding of a company you know telling you that your account has been compromised and is being restricted. ! 2. To unrestrict your account, you are directed to click on a link. The link takes you to a page that looks just like the company’s real homepage. ! 3. In order to unrestrict your account, the pages says, you might have to type in your credit card information, PIN number, or other personal information. ! 4. Thinking your account is truly in danger, you enter the requested information. And just like that, identity thieves have your personal information. ! Of course, phishing, email scams, and job scams are just a smattering of the dangers that await on the Internet. When dealing with the anonymity of the Web, you have to treat everyone like a potential threat to your identity. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 29
  31. 31. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 30 6. Impersonating a Credit Authority ! Pretending to be a credible company isn’t a tool of online identity thieves only. Identity thieves will use this same tactic over the phone or even in person, pretending to be from your credit card company or another institution. As with phishing, they might request your account number or other pieces of sensitive information to protect your account or offer you fake opportunities in exchange. ! Ironically, these impersonators often use consumers’fear of identity theft to trick consumers into giving away their personal information.
  32. 32. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 31 Click Image to Play Video Hang  Up  on  Phone  Fraud ! The Federal Trade Commission explains how consumer can recognize phone fraud. It also shows you how to register your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry to minimize the amount of telemarketing calls you receive.
  33. 33. 7. Hacking ! Instead of tricking you into handing out your personal information, some identity will just break in and take it by force. It’s unnerving to think of, but even inside a government building, your personal information can be at risk. Computer-savvy identity thieves will often break into government or company databases and siphon out individuals’data. ! Examples of such attacks would be the data breaches that have occurred within the Federal Government over the last couple years, during which identity thieves penetrated the government’s system defenses and filched the personal information for over a 100,000 employees, contractors, and family members. This included almost 2,000 bank accounts, according to Reuters. ! Sadly, these types of attacks have been carried out on non-government sites as well, like Microsoft, eBay, and Google. ! We should also mention here that not all of these attacks are executed from without. Often, identity thieves will simply pay off employees to access and grab the information for them. ! 8. Taking Info Through Other Means ! Because there are so many ways that identity thieves can get your personal information, this last category is really just a catch-all. One of the sneakiest ways we found that identity thieves can grab your banking information is by attaching a small electronic device to ATMs, which then records PIN numbers, account numbers, and everything else thieves need to access the account later. This practice is known as skimming. ! There are the more subtle ways that ID theft can be carried out not by rings of scheming criminal masterminds, but by everyday individuals with ill intent. One striking example of this kind of identity theft was a recent news story where a disgruntled Alabama waitress simply added on extra tips and charges on her customers’receipts after they’d left the restaurant. The customers found out later when their credit card statement came in the mail. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 32
  34. 34. Chapter 2: How Does Identity Theft Happen? 33 The bottom line of all this is clear: identity thieves have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to get at your personal information. And it’s not a matter of if they attack you, but when. When those attacks occur, whether your personal information is protected or not depends on your preparation.

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