Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to obtain information, according to the Federal Trade Commission . Here are a few:1. Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it. 2. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card. 3. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information. 4. Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form. 5. Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access. 6. Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies and other sources.