It’s amazing how much sensitive information gets mailed to you – many times without even at your request. Things like credit card applications land in your mailbox and can easily be used by an identity thief to open accounts in your name.
Another thing to think about is how many credit card and bank statements you have mailed to you. Your personal life is somewhat summarized in these type of statements. If you just pitch them in the trash, there’s no telling who could see them.
As an example, I was getting my mail one day and saw a piece of paper in my front yard. I picked it up to throw it away. This ‘paper’ was a bank deposit receipt for the young couple who live across the street from me. I now knew their account number, how much they deposited and their account balance. How it wound up in my front yard, I don’t know. Maybe they threw it in their garbage and it somehow got loose. So what would be the odds of this one sensitive piece of information landing in my yard instead of a candy bar wrapper? In that case, it was 100%!
Before you throw away anything that has any credit or banking information on it, shred it. That includes the credit card offers and especially those blank checks your existing card companies send you in your statements.
There are still many people who will dumpster dive with the intent to steal identities. Too many of us live in denial that our trash with that one sensitive bit of info will be the one found. But it can happen – and it does.
Here’s some steps you can take to avoid identity theft:
- Get into the habit of shredding.
- Have your statements delivered electronically.
- Opt out of pre-approved credit offers.
- Get a locked mailbox.
- And just simply be aware that identity theft is a real problem and getting bigger each year.
Category: Identity Theft Protection