Once identity thieves obtain your personal information, they will probably use it to further a fraud scheme. For example:
- Fake ID card – They may obtain false identification, such as a driver’s license, issued in your name but with their picture on it.
- Forgery – They may forge your signature on checks, credit card slips, and bank withdrawal slips. They may even use a fake identification card with your identifying information to complete the transaction.
- Bank account – They may open a new bank account in your name and write bad checks, or they may steal funds directly from your account using a stolen, counterfeit, or “skimmed” bank card.
- Credit card – They may open a new credit card account in your name. When they use the card and don’t pay the bill, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. They may also use a stolen, counterfeit, or “skimmed” credit card to put fraudulent charges on your account.
- Change of address – They may call your bank or credit card issuer and change the billing address on your account. It may be some time before you realize that charges are being run up on your account. The may also submit a “change of address” request to the post office and have your mail re-directed to delay your discovery of the scheme.
- Phone service – They may open up a cellular phone plan in your name.
- Loan – They may take out a loan in your name.
- VIN number – They may use you vehicle identification number (VIN) to register a stolen vehicle.
- Police contacts – They may give the police your personal information during a traffic stop or during an arrest. When they fail to show up in court, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.