There are numerous ways that thieves can obtain personal identifiers. Some are by:
- Stealing physical items such as mail, wallet/purse, smart phone, trash, etc.
- Stealing digital data as when a business computer system is breached, your computer is tainted with malware or a skimmer is placed on a payment card reader.
- Gathering personal information from social networks and data aggregator websites.
- Phishing schemes – tricks to get you to reveal information.