In order to protect yourself, it is important to know how your identity can be compromised. According to the FTC, there are many types of id theft scams and other tricks used by thieves:

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  • Phishing:  The thief pretends to be an authentic financial institution or company. In this case, they may send you spam mail or bring up a pop-up browser so that you divulge your personal information.
  • Dumpster Diving: The thief goes through your trash, looking for documents with your personal information written on them.
  • Changing Your Address: The thief redirects your billing statements from your actual address to another by filling out a change of address form.
  • Skimming: The thief uses a storage device when processing your credit or debit card to steal your card numbers.
  • Pretexting: These thieves, or "pretexters", sell your personal information to others who will use that information to either steal your assets, get credit in your name, or for other purposes. These people attain your information under false pretenses, and use various tactics to do so, such as claiming to call from a research company.
  • Old Fashioned Stealing: The thief goes about stealing your information the old fashioned way - stealing your wallet, purse, mail (this includes bank and credit card statements), personnel records, and even can go so far as to bribe fellow employees who have access to your information.

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