While identity theft is nothing new, thieves have been stealing innocent people’s identity throughout history. However, advances in technology have made it easier for thieves to steal information for identity thefts crimes.
Before modern times, a thief would usually kill the victim and assume their identity. And they didn’t have to worry about if they looked like the victim or not since there were no photo identification cards.
As time progressed, thieves learned other ways to obtain information for identity theft. They could easily rummage through someone’s trash to find useful information to commit identity theft. Some people’s trash contained a goldmine of information for thieves such as bank statements and credit card information. Thieves could easily use this information to assume another persons identity.
Thieves then became bolder by lurking around people’s mailboxes. They would figure out on what days bank statements were delivered and steal them right out of mailboxes. This was a much more successful and cleaner way of obtaining information than going through someone’s trash.
The inception of telemarketing brought about a new way for thieves to steal information. They could call unsuspecting people and tell them they won or prize or were from a charitable organization to obtain information or money. Initially, it was very easy to convince people to give out personal information, which they could later use to open credit card accounts, drain bank accounts or use the information to obtain a loan in the victim’s name.
Internet Opens the Door for More Identity Theft Crimes
When people started conducting personal transactions online, thieves found a new source for stealing information. They began to hack into banking sites to obtain personal information. Banking sites then began using tougher security controls leaving thieves to find more intuitive ways to steal information.
One such ploy is to send fraudulent emails to individuals. These fraudulent emails look like they are from legitimate financial institutions and ask for personal information such as log in and password. Some unsuspecting individuals share their information this way, allowing identity theft to continue.