Scammers can use your email to run phishing scams or hack into your bank accounts and steal your money. December 2022 data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that the median reported loss due to fraud was $800 for adults over 70 [*].
If scammers know your name and address, they can target you with phishing campaigns, spoofed advertisements, and fake offers. Any information you give them can be used to fully steal your identity.
Accessing Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Having their hands on your account will also give hackers access to your social or professional network, allowing them a mailing list of your friends and family for phishing campaigns, or a way to contact your colleagues and penetrate your company's network security.
With your personal information, scammers can: access and drain your bank account. open new bank accounts in your name and take out loans or lines of credit. take out phone plans and other contracts.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at IdentityTheft.gov or call 1-877-438-4338. The three major credit reporting agencies. Ask them to place fraud alerts and a credit freeze on your accounts. The fraud department at your credit card issuers, bank, and other places where you have accounts.
The easiest way to become a victim of a bank scam is to share your banking info — e.g., account numbers, PIN codes, social security number — with someone you don't know well and trust. If someone asks for sensitive banking details, proceed with caution.
So if a scammer knows your full name and address, they can use your details for identity theft. They can easily buy your SSN online and your information to apply for credit cards or bank accounts.
Professional spammers rely on bots that crawl millions of websites and scrape addresses from pages. Other spammers get email addresses by approaching sellers on underground cybercrime forums, or in open-air markets where addresses are found in mailing lists, websites, chat rooms, and domain contact points.
Scammers Can Impersonate You
After hacking your email accounts, they can use the account to impersonate you and contact your family members or friends. They can trick them into believing you're in big trouble and need financial aid. Others can send your contacts malicious links.
You could fall prey to identity theft.
Once cybercriminals gain access to your email, they can learn enough about you to steal your identity. Information like your employment contracts, bank and insurance documents, and tax information could be stored as attachments in your email.
Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that you have been phished. The FTC is the nation's consumer protection agency. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection works for the consumer to prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices in the marketplace.
What they want are account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your credit cards. Identity thieves can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even driver's licenses in your name.
Can thieves steal identities with only a name and address? In short, the answer is “no.” Which is a good thing, as your name and address are in fact part of the public record. Anyone can get a hold of them. However, because they are public information, they are still tools that identity thieves can use.
First let's clear up one myth - giving out your bank account number and BSB is fine. "There is no issue in giving out your BSB/account details as it's only possible to deposit funds rather than withdraw funds," an ING spokesperson told Money. "If an unauthorised debit occurs then the debiting institution is liable."
To keep your information safe, we suggest only providing your BSB and account number to people you know and trust (such as family, friends or your employer etc.)
Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.
Physical Theft: examples of this would be dumpster diving, mail theft, skimming, change of address, reshipping, government records, identity consolidation. Technology-Based: examples of this are phishing, pharming, DNS Cache Poisoning, wardriving, spyware, malware and viruses.
What can a scammer do with your email? Stolen credentials allow a scammer to send malicious messages or malware links to your contacts, extract personal or financial information from your saved messages, or get your friends and family to send money to them under false pretenses.
Identity theft is when a thief uses your personal details to assume your identity to steal from you or use your identity for other reasons. It can be a very difficult thing to recover from. In some cases all a thief needs is your name, phone number, birthdate and home address to start hacking into your online accounts.
Identity theft begins when someone takes your personally identifiable information such as your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, your mother's maiden name, and your address to use it, without your knowledge or permission, for their personal financial gain.
Change the passwords, pin numbers, and log in information for all of your potentially affected accounts, including your email accounts, and any accounts that use the same password, pin, or log in information. Contact your police department, report the crime and obtain a police report.
Once hackers have your number, they can use it to gain access to your most sensitive and valuable data, such as your: Email accounts and contact lists. Financial assets and bank accounts. Current and previous home addresses.
Signs of identity theft
Unusual bills or charges that you don't recognise appear on your bank statement. Mail that you're expecting doesn't arrive. You get calls or texts about products and services you've never used.
How fraudsters can steal your personal information. Most of us know the importance of making our passwords and PINs secure and keeping them out of fraudsters' hands. But even simple details such as your full name, date of birth and address can be used to commit identity fraud.