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Cybercrime Terms

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Terms For Identity Thieves Stealing Personal Information

  • “Dumpster Diving.” Criminals rummage through trash looking for bills and other documents that contain your personal information.
  • Skimming. Criminals steal credit card or debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  • Phishing. Criminals pretend to be financial institutions or legitimate companies and send spam (unsolicited e-mail) or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  • Changing Your Address. Criminals divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change-of-address form.
  • Stealing. Criminals take wallets and purses. From mailboxes, they take bank and credit card statements, preapproved credit offers, new checks and tax information. They also take personnel records from their employers or bribe employees who have access to these records.

The Federal Trade Commission is the source for this information. To learn more about identity theft visit ftc.gov/idtheft. Or request copies of identity theft resources by writing to: Consumer Response Center Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, H-130 Washington, DC 20580.