Did you ever wonder what kinds of people dig through dumpsters in search of something of value?
Their activity is called “dumpster diving,” and although there are those who do it for such things as leftover food, furniture, and bottles, there are other people who in the last few years have turned trash into gold.
You in a Trashcan
If you are like virtually everyone else, you probably have countless pieces of financial data come to your home every week.
If you think about it, you usually get bank statements, credit card data, and much more pretty much daily.
Naturally, you glance over all of this and then what?
You will usually throw it into the trash can and assume it’s destined for the local landfill.
Unfortunately, in many more cases than anyone cares to admit, there are a lot of hands that will touch your trash anywhere along the disposal process.
Many of those hands are aiming to steal anything they can, and most importantly, your identity.
If you think it would be an easy process to determine who did it, you have another thing coming.
Coming to a Trash Heap Near You
Perhaps the most confounding thing about identity theft is the fact that it’s not very hard to do.
All a thief needs is critical details of your life and they’re in business.
And if you think that nobody would stoop to digging through trash to gather your financial information, think again.
The truth is people do it every day.
Pride and morals are not job requirements for identity thieves.
All identity thieves need is one bag of the right trash–especially from your office trash can.
They can have access to statements you received from the bank, creditors, and almost anyone else.
With the right bag of trash, identity thieves have struck the lottery.
The same information that you think you have used and will never see again have just opened the floodgates of your personal life for every unscrupulous thief out there.
All they need to do now is load themselves up with your data and they will have everything they need to not only get credit cards, but probably even empty your bank account.
When was the last time you received one of those nagging credit card pre-approval letters. We get them virtually every day.
Unfortunately, you probably casually throw them away.
Even worse, the same information contained in those letters is precisely what identity thieves can use to ruin your life.
And if that doesn’t worry you, think about the amount of your data that ends up in the materials thrown out by department stores, accounting firms, and many other sources every day.
Each one of these is a potential target for identity thieves.
The good news in this is that identity theft is preventable by being careful with what you throw away.
If something has personal information on it, shred it. Also, cut up old debit and credit cards so they can’t be read, much less used by thieves.
This might be a little tedious, but it will save you a lot in the future.