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How Do Thieves Steal Identity?

Despite your best efforts to manage the flow of your personal information or to keep it to yourself, skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to gain access to your data:

  • They get information from businesses or other institutions by:
    • stealing records or information while they're on the job
    • bribing an employee who has access to these records
    • hacking these records
    • conning information out of employees
  • They may steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks and tax information.
  • They may rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or public trash dumps in a practice known as "dumpster diving".
  • They may get your credit reports by abusing their employer's authorized access to them or by posing as a landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legal right to access your report.
  • They may steal your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice known as "skimming". They may swipe your card for an actual purchase or attach the device to an ATM machine where you may enter or swipe your card.
  • They may steal your wallet or purse.
  • They may complete a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location.
  • They may steal personal information they find in your home.
  • They may steal personal information from you through email or phone by posing as legitimate companies and claiming that you have a problem with your account. This practice is known as "Phishing" online, or "pretext calling" by phone.

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1-800-9CATHAY

(1-800-922-8429)

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