Here Are 10 Ways Scammers Use to Steal Your Identity

It's no secret that businesses worldwide are suffering huge losses due to identity theft, which has evolved to become the fastest-growing cybercrime. Nearly half of Europeans (46%) fell victim to some form of scam in 2018 and 2019. Out of them, one-third experienced identity theft.

It's no secret that businesses worldwide are suffering huge losses due to identity theft, which has evolved to become the fastest-growing cybercrime. Nearly half of Europeans (46%) fell victim to some form of scam in 2018 and 2019. Out of them, one-third experienced identity theft.

Definition of Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when a hacker uses stolen personal identifiable information (PII) to commit fraud in the victim's name. Date of birth, residence, driver's license, bank details, online credentials, and Aadhaar number (India) are all examples of sensitive information that scammers may steal and use. In the year 2020, 2.1 million reports of fraud were filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States.

Those who fall victim to identity theft may suffer a decline in their wealth and credit. In addition, they can be worried about their future financial stability.

There are different ways scammers use to perform identity theft. Here, we discuss 10 ways in which they can steal your identity.

Identity Theft

How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Data Breach

A data breach can also cause identity theft. A data breach occurs whenever sensitive information is lost, stolen, or exposed in any way, whether through malicious hacking or the careless disposal of records. Someone's financial or personal data may have been compromised if they receive a breach notification. Credential stuffing attacks, in which hackers use stolen credentials to gain access to other accounts, might be fueled by the theft of usernames and passwords from data breaches.

Tech Support Calls

The first step in these identity theft scams is typically a phone call or a pop-up warning on your device claiming to be from a reputable software firm like Microsoft. A tech imposter could gain access to your computer remotely, then demand payment for a nonexistent issue. Genuine tech support providers will never falsely claim that you have a problem with your computer or display a pop-up window with a phone number for you to call.


Phishing emails might appear to be from reputable institutions like banks, online retailers, or even the government. Scammers commonly attach malware to phishing emails and use it to steal sensitive information such as passwords, medical details, and credit card numbers.

Phishing emails are a gateway to identity theft of various types. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, millions of people had to start working from home, which led to a dramatic spike in phishing. According to the ITRC's most recent annual data breach report, phishing was responsible for almost one-third of all breaches in 2021.

Fake E-Commerce Websites

Be careful of social media stores that seem too good to be true because of their low prices. Stay vigilant of requests for immediate payment via wire transfer or other odd ways, as well as a lack of detail in terms and conditions, dispute resolution, and contact information.

Either the product is never delivered, or it is defective, or otherwise, not up to par with your expectations. There has been no success in contacting the seller. Before you know it, the shop is closed, and criminals have your financial information.

Account Takeover

Account takeover refers to the situation in which a third party secretly gains access to and assumes control of one or more of your online accounts without your understanding or consent. Scammers and cybercriminals exploit your personal information to get access to your financial accounts and then lock you out by changing your passwords or card details.

If your bank contacts you via email, letter, or text message about a transaction or activity (such as changing your password or email address) that you don't recall performing, this should raise red flags.

Public WiFi and Juice Jacking

Hackers pose a hazard to many public Wi-Fi networks, allowing identity thieves to potentially snoop on users and steal their personal information. Scammers may also utilise a USB charging scam known as "juice jacking," in which they install malware on the user's device when it is connected to a USB charging station in a public place like an airport or hotel.

Credit Score Modification

If your credit score suddenly jumps, it could be a sign that someone is attempting to get credit on your behalf (with the intent to run through it). If your score drops, it could affect your ability to get a loan or pay your bills. Freezing your credit card is the most effective approach to avoid this type of identity theft.

Synthetic Identity Theft

Scammers can create a fraudulent profile by combining the personal information of multiple people, including their dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers. By adopting a false identity, a person can apply for illegal credit cards, obtain loans, and commit other forms of financial fraud.

Understanding the warning signs of synthetic identity theft and taking immediate action is crucial. Be on the lookout for credit card offers in the mail or over the phone that appears to be addressed to someone else using your address. You can take further precautions by placing a security freeze on your credit reports and monitoring them for any suspicious activity.

Biometric Data Breach

Biometric data theft involves stealing or faking a person's physical attributes to unlock a device. For example, someone could use your face or voice recognition to get into your phone or other devices. If a hacker steals your biometric identification information, they may obtain access to your digital wallet and other sensitive data. If you want to avoid being a victim of identity theft, it's important to keep all your electronic devices up to date.

IoT device hacking

Despite the obvious benefits of the so-called internet of things (IoT), such as smart devices, fraudsters have found a new way to target you. In this form of identity theft, the attacker gains access to your personal data by taking advantage of a vulnerability in a computer or an IoT device that is linked to the Internet.

Each of your devices is a potential entry point for a hacker because it is linked to one or more of your critical user accounts (such as your email). Make sure that all of your smart devices connect to your home's wireless network and use a strong password to protect it.

The best approach to stay ahead of potential risks is to be diligent in monitoring your devices and reviewing your personally identifiable information. Consumers who aren't vigilant are easy targets for many forms of identity theft and fraud.

If you're concerned about identity theft but don't have the time or energy to take further preventative measures, an identity theft protection service may be for you. There are a variety of safeguards available, and most include extra measures to secure your data and other services. When selecting a paid service, finding one that doesn't break the bank while providing the essential protections you need is crucial.

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