Doug Shadel, of the Washington State AARP, asked a convicted ID thief about her tricks of the trade. He learned that car prowls are a major low tech source for identities. Often ID thieves look for easy targets that have something of interest in view. When they break into a vehicle, they look for credit cards, wallets, backpacks, or other items that they can trade or sell, often for drugs. With your wallet the ID thief will look for your cash, credit cards, or PINs. Backpacks often yield laptops with lots of account information in them.
Other methods can include fake WIFI, that as you use it, the ID thief can rummage in your hard drive to find account numbers. Also, skimmers at ATMs can collect your credit card account information as you swipe your card to get some cash. Unsecured mailboxes can yield account information from bank statements and bills that have been mailed to you.
To see a short video report of Mr. Shadel’s findings, go to:
And here are 10 ways to protect yourself from ID theft: