The holiday season seems to be a high point for identity theft as so many financial transactions occur, people get busy and many times aren’t as careful as they usually are. The sensationalism around electronic break-ins of credit card databases, fake emails from banks trying to get your private information, etc. have caused people to believe that electronic theft of their information is the most common method of identity theft. However, as the story points out below, that’s not true and only 9% occurs online.
Almost all of it is from paper records that are not disposed of properly. Whether it is your home or your business, proper shredding of documents to protect your privacy and your customer’s privacy rights is a must. Southland Shredding offers several paper shredding services for your business. For personal identity theft, all those credit card offers are certainly an area of concern. It’s not too hard to take that unopened envelope you just threw out, start up that pre-approved account, and start charging. So make sure you own a good personal shredder that can also handle plastic.
Document Shredding Helps Deter ID Theft
November 30th, 2006 @ 5:06pm
Jed Boal Reporting KSL-TV Utah
Much of the 57-billion dollars identity thieves stole last year was swiped during the holiday season.
All of the shopping and credit card purchases leave us more vulnerable and exposed to identity theft.
Plus, the sheer volume of traffic in and out of stores makes it easier for identity thieves to capture personal information.
Mike Scott battles identity theft for the Utah Attorney General’s office.
Mike Scott, Utah Attorney General’s Office: “It’s hectic. We’re standing in lines getting frustrated, clerks are moving slowly, we just want to get out of there. Plus we buy a lot more this time of year.”
Recent research shows nearly 40-percent of us think identity theft is most likely to happen during exchanges online. In reality, online exchanges make up only nine percent of the crime.
The majority of identity thefts still happen with paper documents and stolen information.
Shred it before you throw it away throughout the year.
And credit card receipts?
Mike Scott/Utah Attorney General’s Office: “There’s no reason to take a risk. Even if they might not do anything with it, you never know. It takes an extra second to throw a receipt into a shredder. The thieves know we’re out there buying more stuff this time of year. They’re on guard looking for the stuff. They know this is the time they can get a lot of useful information.” Guard all your account numbers and social security numbers.