Criminal Identity Theft - How to Prevent Them from Doing an Individual Harm

It happens to over 9 million people every year, yet most folks believe it won’t happen to them. The crime is criminal identity theft, and it is the fastest-growing felony in the United States. The following will offer some insight into how these thieves gather someone’s personal information, what they do with it, and how to prevent them from doing an individual harm.


Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/12/2012 -- Those who engage in criminal ID theft are deceitful, dishonest, crafty individuals. They have no compunction about taking someone’s personal information and using it for their own purposes. They don’t care how badly they damage their victim’s credit score, or how much time and trouble it will take that person to repair it. They care only about themselves, and they’ll do anything to make their own lives more comfortable. Here are just some of the methods identity thieves use to get another’s private data.

The easiest way for someone to perpetrate criminal identity theft is for that person to go “dumpster diving.” This is exactly what it says it is: Thieves go through the commercial dumpsters found behind apartment complexes looking for documents that contain a person’s personal information, including a birth date, full name, an/or a Social Security number (SSN.) With it, he can open charge card accounts, take out loans, or purchase a vehicle in the victim’s name. Another popular method of stealing someone’s identity is called “shoulder surfing,” and is also just what it says: The person standing behind someone using a credit card looks over that person’s shoulder and steals the number on it, opening the possibility of a shopping spree.

Thieves committing criminal ID theft also gather the information they need from the Internet. They pose as representatives of a reputable financial institution and send an e-mail, requesting personal information so they can help cut a mortgage or other loan payment in half, for example. They may also purport to be from a business one has dealt with successfully in the past. They’ll say that the company needs to update one’s information so please give it out right now. Don’t do it! If past dealings with this company have been positive, there is no need to update data it should already have. Contact the business by telephone to verify that the request is valid.

Preventing identity theft can be easy and free. Carry a purse across the body to make it more difficult to grab and run with. Put a wallet in a front pocket, not a rear one. Don’t give out data in e-mails unless they are secure. Never release a SSN to anyone.

About Legal-Yogi, an online repository of all manner of law across the country, is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a purveyor of legal services across the U.S, has more information on this topic and is happy to share it with interested parties.