When a typical mail thief targets your mail, in an attempt to steal your identity, it can be devastating. Most often, when an identity is stolen, the victim ends up with mounds of unverified debt and their credit rating is ruined for at least seven years. Sometimes the damage can be reversed, but not always.

While most people assume total strangers are the ones who steal mail to gain personal information, the truth is, most of the victims know the typical mail thief. It might be your significant other, an old friend, a local immigrant, construction workers in the area or even an advertisement delivery person.

Here is a list of the most commonly seen patterns and profiles of a typical mail thief or identity thief.

1. Love Interests: Many times, those who have their identity stolen or their mail stolen are the victims of their new significant other. It’s fairly easy for a significant other to steal mail, considering they know the person’s schedule, habits and may even gather the mail for them on occasion.

Thus, if neighbors see this person collecting your mail, they likely won’t think twice. After all, they are a steady person in your life. However, many thieves look for relationships in which they can gain something significant. In fact, they may have entered into the relationship with the full intention of scamming you after they’d become a regular part of your life.

2. Old Friends: In thousands of mail theft cases, the typical mail thief is someone who the victim knew previously, but wasn’t extremely close with at the time of the mail theft. These people have an advantage of possibly knowing your schedule, the cars you drive and the income you make.

They might even know if your credit rating is clear or other information like your mother’s maiden name or the banks you use. This can make their job much easier, should they infiltrate more information via your mail.

3. Immigrants: While you should obviously not racial profile, studies show most mail thieves and identity thieves work with larger groups based outside the US. In most cases, mail thieves aren’t isolated con artists working in your area only, or even by themselves.

There are larger rings of mail theft operations located all around the world, with the sole purpose of gathering your personal information.

4. Construction Workers: If you live in an area where construction workers are often present, such as a community which is still being built or near a home that’s having a new roof put on, be wary. There have been thousands of cases involving construction workers and mail theft.

This type of mail thief often disregarded as strangers in the neighborhood, because they’ve obviously been hired to do a specific job. However, they can use this level of neighborhood comfort to spy on your activity and figure out when the best time to snatch your mail might be.

5. Advertisement Delivery Personnel: Most of your local advertisements likely come included in your everyday mail delivery. However, in some areas, advertisements will be hung on your mailbox’s exterior areas by delivery people.

Companies hire low wage workers to drive around to each mailbox and hang the advertisement tag. This can be extremely dangerous for you and your mail, however. It is all too easy for one of these drivers to simply open your box and get the mail out, unsuspectingly.