How it happens:
There are multiple ways to protect yourself from your identity being stolen:
1. Don't give out your social security card unless it's completely necessary.
2. Keep the PIN to your credit/debt card to yourself.
3. Keep receipts to watch for unauthorized transactions.
4. Put firewalls on your computer at home for banking at home.
5. Check your credit report yearly.
6. Keep wallets and purses close by.
7. Keep new checks out of the mail.
8. Only carry essential documents with you.
Benjamin recently got a credit and debt card from his bank. He is shopping at Wal-Mart and uses his debt card to pay for his groceries. He forgets to cover his PIN when he types it, and the cashier stashes his card away for later use as Benjamin walks away.
Tristan has her bank account logged in on her computer. Her roommate logs onto the same computer to look at her bank account, when she sees Tristan is already logged in. She withdraws all the money she has, and Tristan never saw her again.
Larry is an elderly man who recently bought a used cell phone. Telemarketers spam his phone, and he gets convinced that one of them will really protect his bank account. He gives them his Social Security Number and his PINs for all his accounts, just to have them remove his life savings and retirement money.