What is Financial Identity Theft?
Financial crime (bank fraud) occurs when a criminal obtains a loan from a financial institution by impersonating someone else.
The criminal pretends to be the victim by presenting an accurate name, address, birth date, or other information that the lender requires as a means of establishing identity. The lender has no easy way to discover that the person is pretending to be the victim, especially if an original, government-issued id can’t be verified . The criminal keeps the money from the loan, the financial institution is never repaid, and the victim is wrongly blamed for defaulting on a loan he never authorized. Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:
- Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
- Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
- Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
- Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
- Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
- Pretexting. They use false pretences to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.