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Physical vs. Digital: The Different Methods of Identity Theft in Ft. Myers

A close up of a mailbox a blurred garden and residential home is in the background. This image represents physical identity theft.

Since the pandemic hit, fraud and identity theft have seen a sharp increase. In 2020, identity fraud cost the American economy $56 billion in losses — and Florida ranked in the top 5 for the hardest-hit states. 

But how do criminals and hackers get access to the information they need to commit these crimes? In this article, we’re going to cover the top digital and physical ways fraudsters get the goods.

Digital Methods for Identity Theft in Ft. Myers

The advent of the internet has given criminals a lucrative and less risky way to steal our information. They have a variety of ways of stealing our data and using it to wreck our lives.

Let’s look at a few of the most common methods hackers use to digitally get the info needed to commit identity theft:

  • Phishing involves tricking victims with phony emails
  • Vishing uses phone calls to steal information 
  • Smishing works by sending fake text messages to your phone
  • Data Breaches happen when hackers gain access to sensitive information via a hole in an organization or company’s network security
  • Malware and Viruses infect companies’ computers to steal or encrypt data
  • Impersonation Scams use social media like Facebook to pretend to be a friend or family member
  • Public WiFi Snooping lets the attacker eavesdrop on your connection when you’re using a public WiFi connection

There are many more ways people can get their hands on info, like buying it on the dark web, but those listed above are the most common, lucrative, and effective.

Physical Methods for Identity Theft in Ft. Myers

Although digital methods of identity theft get more news coverage and are in the public eye, physical methods are still prevalent. Here are the top ways people get their hands on personal and financial info in the real world:

  • Stealing from friends and family is one of the low-tech ways criminals get what they need.
  • Stealing Wallets gives them your physical credit card, your ID, and other items used for identity theft.
  • Electronic Skimmers hooked up to gas pumps or credit card machines steal all of your credit card info on the spot.
  • Mailboxes are a treasure trove for fraudsters. Think about all of the personal information you receive regularly.
  • Trash, as the saying goes, is gold too. Just imagine all of the personal information on the mail you throw in the garbage.

As you can see, the quality of information gained from physical methods is (often) much better than that secured from digital intrusion. 

Protect Yourself with ShredQuick

If you’re in need of a trusted partner who can safely and securely discard your confidential and sensitive papers in Ft. Myers, then look no further than ShredQuick. Shred Quick has you covered, so contact us now!

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