You Should Be Shredding These Documents Too

May 21, 2020
Shredded Paper

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As odd as it may sound, once your home's trash is off your property, it’s legal for anyone to take.  It’s how manty identities are stolen as thieves dig through piles of trash looking for clues on who you are.  While it is easy to downplay that risk, restoring your identity is not!  While making sure to dispose of bank statements, there are other pieces of paper thieves can use to steal your identity. If you have an old airplane boarding pass, you need to shred it.  Your boarding pass has your name, your travel plans, and a barcode that free websites can decipher. This code often reveals your frequent-flier number, which crooks can use to log in to airline accounts to view upcoming travel plans, check in to flights, and even cancel trips. You should also shred prescription labels, both on the bottle and stapled to the bag. They list your name, the date of initial dispensing, the name and strength of the drug, and the dispensing pharmacist’s name. Thieves may use this info to refill prescriptions or steal your identity. Shred all receipts you don’t save. Those from credit card purchases reveal the last digits of your card number and possibly your signature. Crooks can also use receipts for fraudulent returns and benefit from your store credit if you don't shred documents. If you really want to play it safe, switch to paperless receipts wherever you can. Shred free return labels you receive in the mail, along with any envelopes with your name and address. Thieves often pair this with what you post on social media (family member names, work history) to piece together your identity. When writing your return address on an envelope, omit your name. Thefts use the identities of more than 2 million deceased Americans every year to apply for loans, open credit card accounts, or file tax returns, collecting billions of dollars in refunds. Shred extra funeral pamphlets or obituaries you don’t save. If a loved one passes, list age in the obituary but not the birth date or mother’s maiden name—these personal identifiers are handy for ID thieves.

SOURCE: Reader's Digest

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