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4 Techniques used by Identity Thieves to Steal Your Identity

We live in an age where one’s personal identity is a precious commodity, which miscreants are always ready to steal. The best way to stop these thieves from stealing yours and acquiring a new identity is to remain abreast with the techniques they employ. In this article, I will jot down the top identity theft techniques used by such lowlifes.


Dumpster Diving

Yes, you read that correctly. Identity thieves actually rummage through trash in dumpsters to get their hands on discarded pieces of paper containing financial or other personal information. Things like credit card receipts, financial statements etc., are their primary target. It’s therefore mandatory to properly dispose of these instead of just throwing them in the garbage disposal unit.


Exploiting Online Government Records

Most of the first world countries have digitalized their public records which are available online for the masses. This modernization has tremendous boons for the public, but on the downside also proves to be open hunting grounds for identity thieves. Records like marriage, divorce records, property deeds, birth certificates and obituaries etc., are highly sought after by these miscreants to forge a new identity.


Tombstone Theft

Yes, not even the dead are safe from identity theft. This method is tied in with the aforementioned exploitation of online government records. Personal information of the deceased like date of birth, full name and family information can easily be extracted from online or in newspaper obituaries. Identity thieves go as far as posing an insurance company agent of the deceased to con funeral homes into giving up more information. Once the information is obtained, it’s used in forging a new identity which can be used in a number of fraudulent activities like procuring loans from bank etc. In some cases, the newly forged identity or the raw personal data of the deceased is sold online or in black markets to the highest bidder.


Old Fashioned Stealing

This is the oldest method of identity theft on the list. The miscreant steals wallets, personal mail and other documentation, which contains personal credentials of a person. The most desired documents for stealing are: pre-approved credit offers via letter, tax information, bank and credit card statements etc. It’s also not uncommon for the lowlifes to bribe or blackmail employees of organizations to gain access to personal information. Sometimes, disgruntled or financially challenged employees of organizations also indulge in identity theft as they have access to information like ATM card numbers, credit card numbers and PIN codes. This is known as “insider theft”.

Identity Theft