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If you think that no one would be interested in your personal information, think again. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, which may be the most frequent, costly, and pervasive crime in the United States.

What thieves need to commit identity theft

  • Name and address
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Credit card or bank account numbers
  • Passwords

How they do it

  • Stealing - wallets, purses, computers, mobile devices, checks or credit offers/statements sent in the mail
  • Dumpster diving - to find discarded paper files, cds, floppy drives
  • Phishing/spam - fraudulent emails
  • Social engineering - gaining your confidence in person, on the phone, online, postal mail, or through email to extract personal information
  • Shoulder surfing - viewing your log on activities in public spaces
  • Hacking - password guessing, tricking you to download malware, spyware or other software to access information on your computer