Looking through my spam mail folder today, I found a perfect example to illustrate the type of information that identity thieves want to get from you, the type of information that allows someone to steal your identity.
The email is supposely from PayPal, citing a claim that the email address of my PayPal account has been changed causing my PayPal account to be temporary suspended, and that I need to give them certain information to restore my account.
The information that they, identity thieves---not PayPal, is asking for is:
My Full Name
My Mother's Maiden Name
My Date of Birth
My Social Security Number
One of my Credit or Debit Card Account Numbers, along with the issuing banks' name, the expiration date, the Card Security Code (CSC---the little number on the back that proves that you have the physical card), and my PIN (Personal Identification Number) for that card
By the way, some of this information, PayPal didn't even ask for when I opened my account. And if they did ask for it, I would be very alarmed---hint, never give anyone your PIN or Passwords that belongs to another account.
With this type of information, a identity thief can steal your identity, they can also instantly withdraw all your money from one of your accounts or use all the credit on one of your cards.
It is a scary world out there people, so be careful who you give this type of personal information to.