What is ID Theft?
When discussing identity theft, the first problem is defining it. Jurisdictions across the country and within Texas define it quite differently. Generally, identity theft occurs when someone represents that he/she is you by using your personal information and does so for fraudulent or other improper purposes.
It is often broken down into three broad categories. "True name" fraud occurs when someone uses your personal information to open a new account. In an "account take-over," the person gains access to an existing, legitimate account. Someone who uses your personal information to avoid prosecution commits "criminal" identity theft.
Where do they get your personal information?
Although computer "hacking" gets the biggest headlines, it is probably the lease common means by which someone gets your personal information. Mail theft, dumpster diving, and theft of company records by employees continue to be the most common ways of obtaining personal information.