Credit card theft affects millions of Americans every year. According to the 2014 Javelin Identity Fraud Report; there were 13 million Americans affected by identity theft in 2013; and compromised credit cards are among the most common instances of the crime. No matter how careful you think you are about protecting your accounts and keeping your credit card out of harm’s way; thieves employ many methods to get a hold of credit information.
Here are a few common ways that ID theft is perpetrated on a daily basis:
- Mail theft
- This is when a thief targets your mailbox and searches through your documents in search of paperwork that may have sensitive personal identification information on it. Things like government files or credit card applications that are pre-filled out are just a few of the items that may be targeted.
- Dumpster diving
- If you simply discard prefilled credit card applications in the trash‚ a thief who is going through your trash could use the information displayed to open up accounts in your name. This crime is surprisingly common.
- This is when a thief dupes their victim into giving up personal information by playing the “con game.” Whether by phone‚ in person or over the internet‚ they will use a piece of info they already have about you to make them seem legitimate.
- Shoulder surfing
- Whenever you are in a public setting and sharing information — filling out a form on a library computer or entering your PIN into an ATM — you run the risk of a passerby catching a peek and then potentially making off with your identity.
- Increasingly popular now that almost all business is conducted via the internet‚ this crime is committed when hackers access files on your computer that could contain the keys to your identity.