Understanding Card Fraud & Identity Theft

How Your Personal Information Can Be Stolen

When it comes to protecting yourself from becoming a victim of card fraud and identity theft, it is important to know what thieves are doing to steal your information. See below for descriptions and videos (click on links) of some of the ways that your personal information can possibly be stolen and misused:

Dumpster Diving: Thieves search your trash for documents that contain personal information and gain access to important numbers that help them commit fraud. This is one of the most traditional and effective methods of stealing one’s personal information.

Data Breaches: Data breaches occur when protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so. This information may be held at businesses, medical offices and government agencies in electronic or paper files. According to Javelin Research, by the time financial institutions detect that a data breach has occurred, a fraud attempt has already been made in seven out of ten cases.

Stolen Wallet: When a thief steals your wallet , they gain access to your most valuable personal and card information.

Mail Theft: Old school thieves scout unlocked mailboxes and steal your mail – and your personal information – right from your front door.

Shoulder Surfing: This is when thieves position themselves within sight or earshot of your latest card transaction, and record your information to be used in the future. The prevalence of cameras and recorders in today’s mobile phones make this form of theft a real threat.

Office Fraud: From the janitor dumpster diving to the co-worker shoulder surfing, more personal information is being taken from the office environment than ever before. The theft of personal information from your place of work is not commonly recognized and considered last of all possibilities, but can be a real threat to you.


Besides the main categories of ways thieves can potentially commit identity theft, there are other means of stealing card information which must be noted. These include:

● Fraud Scams (e-mail, telephone or postal mail)
● Social Networking Sites
● Computer Hackers