How can my identity be stolen?

  • Malware programs steal personal data online. These programs climbed to more than 1.2 million this year from 135,000 in 2007.
  • 90 percent of malware programs are designed to grab personal information like SSNs and credit cared numbers from online sites that are not protected with spyware.
  • Consumers expose themselves to malware by downloading attachments or clicking links in emails.
  • Thieves find information by looking through the trash, filling out postal change of address forms in the victims name and hacking into online records.
  • After obtaining personal information, a thief may commit new account fraud, which occurs when an identity thief uses a victim’s name and SSN to apply for new credit.