How Identity Thieves Use Your Personal Information
Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Introduction to Identity Theft and other Identity Theft topics.
How do identity thieves use my information?
As creative as identity thieves are in order to capture your information, they are just as creative in using the information to their own benefit. Here are just some of the ways your information is used by identity thieves:
- Credit cards are used to purchase high-ticket items that can be easily sold.
- The mailing address is changed on your existing credit card accounts in an attempt to delay the length of time it takes you to discover the theft.
- New loans are applied for to buy cars or homes in your name.
- New credit card and bank accounts are opened using your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
- Bankruptcy is filed under your name.
- Your name is given to the police during an arrest resulting in a criminal violation on your record and the potential for a warrant being issued for your arrest.
Savvy thieves can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time so your best defense is quick action and regular monitoring of your accounts and credit reports. Check your credit card and bank statement as soon as you get them for any suspicious activity. Know when your billing cycles are and if a statement does not arrive on time, contact the institution to report it. Monitor your credit report regularly. If new accounts and loans are being opened in your name, you may not learn of it for years – long after the damage is done.