Where Does Identity Theft Occur?

Most of the time, identity theft is carefully planned and organized, though sometimes it’s just a seized opportunity. But regardless of how it happens, criminals have stolen your personal information and taken over your reputation and your finances.

Here are some examples of the common places identity theft can occur:

In Shops, Banks, Service Stations & Other Establishments

Fraudsters tamper with credit and debit card readers so they can copy your personal information to be used or sold at a later time.

At the ATM

Criminals use special techniques and equipment to copy your PIN and account information so they can clean out your bank account.

On the Street or in Public

Pickpockets can easily lift your wallet, briefcase, or purse and use or sell the information they find.

In Your Mailbox

New credit cards, credit offers, cheques and other important documents can be stolen and used to defraud you, or the fraudster can redirect your mail to get their hands on new credit cards, cheques, and other pieces of identification.

Through Your Computer

Imagine if someone stole your computer and hacked into it the goldmine of information they would find. You use your computer to shop, send emails, do online banking, visit social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, MSN, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and store all kinds of personal information. The importance of computers in our daily lives, combined with the skyrocketing popularity of the Internet, has made them a great place for thieves to collect personal information and commit all types of fraud.

In Your Car

If you leave your briefcase, purse, wallet, laptop, or shopping bags in your car, identity thieves could break in and make off with your personal information.

By Phone

Criminals impersonate government officials, landlords, and law enforcement officers to extract personal information from you on the pretext that they are updating your personal file (vishing), selling products, or trying to fix your computer. And if you use a cordless phone or a cell, they can eavesdrop on your conversations to steal your personal information. They even use Bluetooth technology to steal information or download the data transmitted via these devices.

In The Garbage

Criminals can sift through your garbage to find personal documents, invoices, tax returns, and other types of information.

At Home

People you invite into your home, people who work for you, people who live with you, and other people you trust all have access to your personal documents. Who do you let in: a babysitter, a friend, a contractor, a roommate, or anyone else who has the opportunity to take a look at your papers or computers? Or they may even use your landline to make calls that will be billed to your account.

In Third-Party Computer Databases

Retailers, accountants and government departments databases contain a lot of information about you, such as your name and contact information, your SIN, your credit card numbers, your income, your bank, etc., and computer experts can hack into the systems to access this information.