The Basics of Financial Identity Theft
Financial identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit financial fraud. This can happen in a variety of ways, including through the use of your credit card or bank account information, by taking out a loan in your name or by using your Social Security number to open new accounts. There are a number of ways that thieves can obtain your personal information, including through data breaches, phishing scams and by going through your trash.
Common Tactics of Financial Identity Theft
When it comes to financial identity theft, there are a few common tactics that scammers use in order to steal your information.
- Phishing is when a scammer poses as a legitimate entity in order to trick you into giving them your personal or financial information. They may do this by sending an email that looks like it’s from your bank or by creating a fake website that looks like a legitimate financial institution.
- Skimming is when a thief uses a small device to copy the information from the magnetic stripe on your credit or debit card. They can then use this information to create a clone of your card and make unauthorized charges.
- Rummaging through your trash. Thieves will dig through mail and trash in search of bank and credit card statements that contain personal information.
- Data breaches can provide criminals with personal and financial information of consumers. Criminals can buy this data from an inside source or from bad actors on the dark web.
There is no shortage of tactics for criminals when committing their crimes. Protect yourself by reviewing the red flags and following the below prevention tips to protect yourself from bad actors.