Identity thieves have become very efficient when it comes to stealing people’s private information. Although many commit identity theft by exploiting the latest technologies and social trends, others continue to use old-fashioned methods to obtain people’s private information.
Many thieves will take advantage of individuals who are going through a major life change, such as a move to a new apartment, because these people often have so much on their minds that they don’t even consider the risk of identity theft.
“Moving can be a hectic and tiring process, which is exactly what attracts identity thieves,” says Angela Lauria of Identity Guard. “Understanding the benefits from a thief’s point of view may actually help individuals better utilize fraud protection to defend against identity theft threats.”
Here are five reasons identity thieves’ eyes light up when they learn a person is changing residences.
1. Moving can be an expensive endeavor, and many individuals will look for ways to cut corners on their expenses. Identity thieves know this. They may pose as a moving company and offer the lowest rate on the market to entice consumers to hire them. When people do, they may find their private information compromised.
2. In an effort to get rid of possessions and papers they don’t want to pack and travel with, many consumers will discard important documents without realizing it. Identity thieves will often search through people’s garbage in order to find these valuable records.
3. Similarly, the hustle and bustle of a move may cause a person to forget to pack up all of the important documents they plan to take with them. If this occurs, a thief can simply pick up any material left behind and use it to his or her advantage.
4. Identity thieves count on people to forget to change their forwarding address to their new place of residence. Consumers who continue to have valuable mailings, including utility bills and credit card statements, sent to their old homes, run the risk of having those items stolen and used for identity theft.
5. Immediately after a move, individuals are generally tied up with arranging furniture, unpacking boxes and exploring their new neighborhood that they don’t even think to check their credit reports and scores. Because of this lag time, identity thieves may use the stolen information to their advantage for a longer period of time without worrying about getting caught.