What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today. In identity theft, the thief steals your personal information such as your name, Social Security Card number, credit card number, and birthday, and so on to commit fraud. They could use this information to purchase cars, homes, open credit card accounts, loans, or even file bankruptcy in your name, leaving you with the bills and damaged credit. Though the credit can be eventually recovered, you may face countless hours of stress and frustrations in recovering your credit and reputation.

How Does It Happen?

Here are some most common ways identity thieves can access your information:

  • Steal wallets and purses containing your ID card, credit card, and personal information.
  • Steal your mail that may include your credit card or bank statements, pre-approved credit offer, and tax information.
  • Look through your trash for personal or business information.
  • Fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as someone, such as your landlord or employer, who may have legal right to the information.
  • Get your personal information at work.
  • Find your personal information in your home.
  • Use the information you share on the Internet.
  • Buy your information from "inside" sources.

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