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Unfortunately senior citizens face another threat known as "sweetheart scam" in which a criminal offers to run errands or do chores around house for express purpose of taking control of victim's finances.
Taking control of someone's finances can also happen in a restaurant, department store or any legitimate place of business . When a clerk swipes your card twice without your knowledge then stores information for later use this is know as skimming. Often clerk will make a duplicate card with your info to go on a buying spree or sell it on black market. The illegal selling of credit card information as you might have already guessed is big business.
Identity theft has forced many financial institutions to revamp their ATM's due to criminal rigging. A person uses ATM but after putting in pin# machine keeps card. Usually when person goes to report it, thief strikes, taking card, pin # and most importantly victim's identity.
The methods of madness can include something simple like going thru your trash known as dumpster diving or an elaborate hoax similar to one reported by Associated Press.
A family in Pacific Northwest posed as tax preparers and used stolen identities to go on buying sprees across several states that included million dollar homes and luxury vehicles. According to authorities, since thieves stole social security # of children as well as adults, damage won't be fully known until these young people start applying for credit later on.
Law Enforcement officials believe next step with this criminal outfit involved applying for health care positions. Hospitals and doctor offices provide a wealth of personal information. Perfect for Identity thieves
These methods along with old fashioned robbery show why identity theft according to Department of Justice maintains it's ranking as number one and fastest growing crime in US for 5 consecutive years. Unfortunately, it will maintain that status for near future.
Daryl Campbell owns and operates http://winthemarket.com. He has written a 4 part report on Identity theft. Grab your free copy at http://digbig.com/4djxq. Learn more about this worldwide epidemic and how you can protect yourself. http://digbig.com/4djxq