How Thieves Get and Use Your Personal Information

Sealing your mail:

This includes bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks and tax information.

    “Dumpster Diving”:

    They may rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses or public trash dumps.

      “Phishing Online” or “Pretexting-By-Phone":

      They may steal personal information through email or phone by posing as legitimate companies and claiming you have a problem with your account.


        They may steal your wallet or purse or may steal personal information from your home.

          • They may call your credit card issuer to change the billing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because the bills are being sent to another address it may be some time before you realize there’s a problem.
          • They may open new credit card accounts in your name. They use the credit cards and don’t pay the bills; the delinquent accounts are reported on your credit report.
          • They may counterfeit checks or credit or debit cards, or authorize electronic transfers in your name, and drain your bank account.
          • They may file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they’ve incurred under your name, or to avoid eviction.
          • They may buy a car by taking out an auto loan in your name.
          • They may establish phone or wireless service in your name.
          • They may get identification such as a driver’s license issued with their picture, in your name.
          • They may give your name to the police during an arrest. If they don’t show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.