When it comes to identity theft, most of us do what we can to avoid becoming a victim. While many people think they are safe as long as their most sensitive information is kept a secret, the reality is that with information as basic as your name, you may fall prey to identity theft.
That’s why many people ask “can someone steal my identity with my name and address?” Let’s take a closer look…
Identity Theft with a Name and Address
While an individual can’t steal your identity with just your name and address, this information can be used to find out more about you. Essentially, these two pieces of information act as a gateway that others can use to ultimately steal your identity.
Personal information is the key that identity thieves use to learn more about a potential victim. This information is typically a combination of the Social Security number, birthday, address, and the name of an individual.
The answer to “can someone steal my identity with my name and address?” depends on the other information the thief finds. A thief might be able to use your address and name in one of the following four ways to steal your identity…
1. Finding Info in a Database
A thief can use the information they already have on you in a database to see what other pieces of data come up. One such database only charges a dollar and will show a thief that person’s phone number, divorce and marriage records, employment history, and more. These pieces of information can then be used by the thief to open new accounts in your name.
2. Cracking Your Passwords
An identity thief may be able to break into your accounts with just your address and name. Whether they crack your passwords by using these answers or they reply to your security questions with one of these answers, they may be able to gain access to your sensitive information. You can protect against this by regularly updating your passwords and choosing longer passphrases that don’t use your address or name.
3. Redirecting Your Mail
Crafty thieves may use your name and address to gain access to your mail. With these pieces of information, they can go online and reroute your mail to their own address. While this may not seem like a big deal for most of your incoming mail, with bills, credit card offers, and the like, thieves may be able to hack into your financial accounts and cause more damage.
Stay protected by using identity theft protection services. These services will make it harder for others to gain access to your address and name.
4. Sending Fake Offers
Another way thieves gain access to sensitive information is to ask for it. They create fake mailers advertising faux offers, all to get you to sign up and disclose your financial information. Oftentimes, this type of scam involves fake bills or lottery-win notifications. Do your best to monitor your mail and report any fraudulent mailers to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
In most situations, a thief needs more than a person’s address and name to actually commit fraud. Be sure to keep your identity safe by staying vigilant, keeping these four tips in mind, and running a data breach check on all of your email addresses.