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Visa Account Access Go to the Edge

The Mind of a Thief

Thieves are smart. They know how to get what they want sometimes with little to no effort at all. Make sure you know how to outsmart them. Below is a list of common practices used to lure people into giving out their personal information:

  • "Old-Fashioned" Stealing - stealing your wallet, purse, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, tax information, checks, etc.
  • Dumpster Diving - digging through your trash
  • Shoulder Surfing - looking over your shoulder in the grocery line to see your account number or PIN (personal identification number)
  • Skimming - stealing credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card
  • Phishing - phony emails or pop-up messages using fake websites that try to fool you into revealing personal financial data
  • Spoofing - copying the look of a legitimate website for fraudulent use
  • Mail theft or diversion (diverting mail to another address)

Once thieves obtain your information, they are able to open new accounts, drain your checking and savings accounts, make purchases on your credit card, have statements sent to different addresses, establish wireless service, open loans in your name and give your name when arrested. Knowing how they think and operate is the best way to protect yourself from identity theft. Plus, it's also smart to learn the security measures your financial institution has in place to protect your financial information. (For information on our online banking security features, click here. For information on our VISA® security features, click here.)

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