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How Identity Theft Happens

Remember to include your USU ID Card and university password among your list of personal data that needs to be monitored against identity theft!

Your USU Card grants accesses your debit accounts, meals, facilities, and events; and servers as your campus identification. Your university strong password grants access to all your personal data, grades, tuition payments, payroll and any other personal record about you at Utah State University. As such, we recommend the following things in helping you protect yourself from identity theft.

Credit Card

Criminals can easily obtain your personal data without going to the trouble of entering your home.

With enough identifying information, a criminal can take over an individual's identity for a wide range of crimes, including false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, and fraudulently obtaining goods or privileges. If the criminal has the bills for all these activities sent to another address, the victim may not become aware of what is happening until substantial damages have occurred, both to the victim's assets and to his/her reputation.

Did You Know?


They steal wallets and purses containing your identification, credit cards and bankcards.


They steal your mail, especially bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.

Document Form

They complete a 'change of address form' to divert your mail to another location.


They go 'dumpster diving', rummaging through your trash, or the trash of businesses, for copies of records that typically bear your name, address, telephone number, and even your birth date and social security number.

Personal Report

They obtain your credit report by posing as a landlord, employer, or someone who may have a legitimate need for, and legal right to, the information.

Shoulder Surfing

In public places, they 'shoulder surf', watching from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or credit card number.

Personal Information

They use personal information you share on the Internet.


They scam you, often through email, or they go 'phishing' by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies you do business with.


They get your information from your workplace by stealing files from offices where you're a customer, employee, patient or student; by bribing an employee who has access to your files; or by 'hacking' into electronic files.