Recently in Minnesota, Cassie Cullen was arrested and charged with crimes related to her alleged stealing documents by “dumpster diving” and using those documents to facilitate identity theft. Much of your trash may be an identity thief’s treasure because of the personal information contained on those documents which can be leveraged by a criminal to make you a victim of identity theft. The best thing you can do to prevent the documents you are throwing out in the trash becoming a gift to identity thieves is to shred documents with sensitive personal information.
So what should you shred?
Credit card offers you receive in the mail should be shredded as should old bank statements, old credit card statements, old investment statements, expired passports, old insurance records, old documents containing your Social Security number and tax returns that are more than seven years old. Basically, anything with personal information that you do not currently need or will need in the future should be shredded.
And not any shredder will do. Even paranoids have enemies and merely shredding documents with a horizontal or vertical cut shredder will not offer the protection provided by a cross cut shredder. Keep your trash from becoming an identity thief’s treasure.
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