Identity theft

What is identity theft? 

Crooks can create an illusion that they really are you. Once in that position, they can transfer money from your accounts, apply for loans and credit cards, and redirect mail. Additionally, they can buy merchandise, vacations and even homes.

faceless man at a computer, holding a card

There are many ways someone can access your personal information:

1.  Mail theft

Superboxes and apartment boxes are more of a target than individual mailboxes for mail theft. This may include redirection of mail as well as theft of mail.

2.  Intercepting garbage

3.  Theft of wallets and purses

Your identification is often more valuable than the cash.

4.  Using computers to steal personal information

Phishing refers to directing people to web sites which look official, but are in fact bogus sites designed to access personal information. For example, if your bank’s web site is, beware of,, or similar variations - they may be fake! 

Back doors or Trojans are programs that may be loaded onto your computer, usually by e-mail, that enable other computers to remotely access your data. The threat can be eliminated through proper use of Internet security programs or firewalls, used in conjunction with anti-virus software.

5.  ATM fraud

Tampering with automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale terminals enables thieves to read your debit or credit card number and personal identification number (PIN).

For more information on ATM skimming prevention tips, visit: PIN pad and ATM tampering.

How to determine if your identity has been stolen

If you think you are a victim


Date modified: