Identity theft can happen in many ways. Before computers people just stole mail from letterboxes and documents from people’s wallets (watch the movie Catch Me If You Can for an example).
Then when the internet came along criminals starting tricking people into handing over personal details, or they employ hackers to write spyware that achieves the same result.
A new identity theft trend emerging in the world is coming from call centres. Staff working at call centres have access to the person details of a lot of customers, and since a lot of call centres have been outsourced to countries such as India, the Philippines, etc, companies are having a difficult time keeping things under control.
There’s an article here that mentions a few of the crimes happening in call centres. In summary:
- Using mobile phones to take screenshots
- Quickly copying people’s details into hidden books
- Using USB drives to copy data
Theft of personal information is serious. The information can be easily sold, especially if staff feel they’re underpaid (a likely situation for overseas call centres).
It’s good to remember that in this day and age your personal details can be known to many parties, there isn’t much that’s still personal or secret. Be selective in what information you give to companies. And as mentioned previously don’t give personal details to call centre staff when they call you (instead of you calling them).