Identity Theft

Your identity is not safe! According to the U.S. Supreme Court anyone can legally dig through your trash looking for credit card receipts, account numbers, or your social security number. In the decision California vs. Greenwood, they stated that the "expectation of privacy in trash left for collection in an area accessible to the public... is unreasonable." This means, when you throw something in the trash, anyone who is willing to go through your trash or dumpster, legally can.


Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S., claiming more than 10 million victims a year. Protect yourself by securely shredding your documents with SecurShred. We are AAA certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) for mobile and plant-based operation.

What should you shred?

Anything that has a signature, account number, social security number, or medical or legal information (plus credit offers) such as:

  • Address labels from junk mail and magazines
  • ATM receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Birth certificate copies
  • Canceled and voided checks
  • Credit and charge card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts
  • Credit reports and histories
  • Documents containing maiden name (used by credit card companies for security reasons)
  • Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses
  • Documents relating to investments
  • Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers
  • Driver's licenses or items with a driver's license number
  • Employee pay stubs
  • Employment records
  • Expired passports and visas
  • Un-laminated identification cards (college IDs, state IDs, employee ID badges, military IDs)
  • Legal documents
  • Investment, stock and property transactions
  • Items with a signature (leases, contracts, letters)
  • Luggage tags
  • Medical and dental records
  • Papers with a Social Security number
  • Pre-approved credit card applications
  • Receipts with checking account numbers
  • Report cards
  • Resumes or curriculum vitae
  • Tax forms
  • Transcripts
  • Travel itineraries
  • Used airline tickets
  • Utility bills (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, Internet)

FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act)

The Federal Trade Commission issued the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act in 2003, a law aimed at minimizing the risk of identity theft and consumer fraud. In November 2004, the FTC added the FACTA Disposal Rule to enforce the protection and disposal of sensitive consumer data.

The rule states that "any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information for a business purpose" must destroy discarded consumer information, whether in paper or electronic form.

Who must comply with this rule? Any individual or businesses (employing one or thousands) that uses consumer information in its everyday operations or stores personal data or businesses, such as banks, lenders, insurers, auto dealers, real estate agents, employers and record management companies. They are required now to safeguard consumer information. The law also applies to service providers that destroy information, from shredders, recyclers, waste management or technology disposal companies.

Additional Resources

 

 

 


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