(CBS) -- Lee Cutbirth and his wife, Allison, have always taken extra steps to protect their identities.
"The credit goes to my lovely bride who goes as far as burning our information off our prescription labels before she throws them away," says Cutbirth.
But that vigilance wasn't enough. Recently, his identity was stolen and criminals tried to open a credit card and a car loan in his name.
Fortunately, he was able to stop it before losing any money.
Lee says it happened shortly after the Equifax data breach. The credit reporting agency says hackers got access to the personal information of more than 145 million people.
Cyber security expert Scott Shober says the big fear is that your information could end up on the dark web, an untraceable area of the internet that attracts criminals.
He showed us everything from bank statements to drivers licenses and security answers.
"It's filled with tons of information available out in the wild to access buy and sell." meg..Cutaway "What can they do with it? Anything they want they can kind of control the world in a sense that's what scares me so much," he says.
Schober says there's no way to completely protect yourself, but he advises going old school. Always use cash instead of your debit card and he says you should also freeze your credit so no one can open an account in your name.
Lee believes his information was exposed in the Equifax breach. He's now hired a lawyer and joined a class action lawsuit against the company.
"We're looking to hold Equifax accountable and that includes making sure that they change their ways going forward," says class action attorney Catherine Fleming.
The Cutbirths have taken steps to protect their identity but wonder if it's enough to stop criminals in the future.