There are rising cases of identity theft. Approximately 19 million people in the world admit that they have once paid for credit purchases that was not under their name. Some report intrusion into their various accounts including banks and emails.
To you, items in the garbage bins are invaluable. They do not deserve any attention since you don’t need them anymore. On the other hand, to a fraudster, such items can be of much use. They can be the only gateway to wealth. An identity thief can spend even years searching through your personal garbage.
What do identity thieves search for?
It is true they cannot be after everything since the garbage may include even dust. Identity thieves search for electronic waste that may contain digital documents that contain secure information such as credit card number, Bank account number, debit and credit card number, maiden date of birth, login credentials to email, date of invitation to a friend’s party, login credentials to social media accounts, and utility bills.
In reality, there are copies of such documents that are signed and often dropped in the garbage without even you knowing. Sometimes, you will find yourself scribing down even personal password on a newspaper on your desk while resetting a lost password. These are what the thieves are after.
What do they do with the information?
Once they get access to your signature, name, contact information and crucial information such as the amount paid for utility bills, these people can either pretend they are you or your service provider company. In both cases, the information always work.
Take for example in the case of an unaccepted credit card. The identity thief will only call your credit card company and instruct them to activate it. All they need is an expiry date and the card number for credibility. Once the card is activated, they will simply go shopping as much as they want. You will only be called to foot the bills accrued to such purchases.
An identity thief can also make calls to your potential business client with an instruction to change accounts in which next payments should be made. Since they have every trace of transactional information previously made, they will simply read them out to the potential victims in order to win their trust. After that, they can cite inconveniences such as a company’s system failure that lead to changes in accounts of payment. This can also be done through email messages.
On the other hand, these thieves can play the role of your long time utility service provider. They will make a call with an instruction that your previous bills have not yet been paid for. You will be threatened to make such payments before a specific time. You will only realise that you have been scammed after making the payment.
You need to remain cautious every time and cherish the behaviour of counterchecking any document you hold in your hand before tossing it into the garbage. There are some documents that should be dropped in the bin and some that should not be. Important job-related documents and their respective copies should end in files. These documents include; utility bills, offer of employment forms and resumes, signed employee handbooks, citation documents for excellent performance, performance evaluations, employee benefits forms, records of attendance, any form containing formal contract and forms containing information on previous workers departure.
Other documents should be properly shredded before tossing into the garbage. It is important to note that, tearing papers into pieces cannot solve the problem of identity theft. These people are always motivated. They can collect all the pieces of the document and join them together like in jigsaw puzzle.
Start thinking of owning a shredder for personal or office use. But, before legging up the idea of buying one, there is need to research on types of shredders that are in the market. Whether a cross-cut, diamond cut, strip cut or micro-cut shredder, the equipment bought should meet your daily shredding needs.
If you are worried that your local council will not pick up your e-waste, construction material or smart appliances, you should consider a private rubbish removal company. They are able to securely transport your unwanted items and dispose of them properly. This way, no identity thieves can infiltrate your personal information and compromise your security.