from AOL Wallet Pop
First, they steal your personal information by...
...Going through your mail or trash, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and tax information.
...Stealing personal information from your wallet or purse such as identification, credit, or bank cards.
...Completing change-of-address forms to redirect your mail.
...Obtaining your credit report by posing as someone who has a lawful right to the information.
...Acquiring personal information you share on unsecured sites on the Internet.
...Buying personal information about you from an inside source -- for example, a store employee that gets your information from a credit application or by "skimming" your credit card information when you make a purchase.
...Getting your personnel records at work.
Then identity thieves...
...Open new credit card accounts using your name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number. When they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, the delinquency is reported on your credit report.
...Establish phone or cellular service in your name.
...Open a bank account in your name and write bad cheques on the account.
...Counterfeit cheques or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
...Buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
...Call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, change the address on the account. Bills get sent to the new address, so you don't realize there's a problem until you check your credit report or get a call from a collection agency.
...File for bankruptcy using your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred under your name.