As we know, with the digital age we are living in, fraud and identity theft are becoming more common. However, we have to keep in mind that something as small as “junk mail” tossed in the trash can be used as a tool for them to put the pieces together and commit fraud.
We’ve all done it, thrown away that “amazing offer” that we received in the mail. Your name and address are printed n the envelope, if the wrong person finds that mail in your trash can – they could look you up on social media and find out your hometown, favorite sports team, maiden name, pet names, and where you went to college. Just like that your security questions are answered.
No, this doesn’t mean you have to shred every piece of paper that crosses your mailbox. What we are trying to say is be aware of the things you are throwing away. We’re going to share with you some helpful things to note when deciding what to keep or shred to try to decrease the chances of identity theft.
What should I keep?
- – Birth and Death Certificates
- – Social Security and ID Cards
- – Passports
- – Adoption Papers
- Copies of Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney
- Marriage License and Divorce Decrees
Note: This list is not limited to these items only, please keep in mind what documents are deemed important to you.
What should I shred?
It would be a good idea to shred any document that contains any of the following to help decrease the risk of fraud.
- – Full name and/or address
- – Social Security Number
- – Account Numbers
- – your signature
Things to keep in mind:
Be carious about what you throw away, any document with personal information could be used as a tool for fraud. Don’t forget about non-paper items that may have addresses and names on them too. For example, boxes, prescriptions, etc. Kids and deceased are often at higher risk to be a victim of identity theft. Check your credit reports often to make certain of no uncommon issues, if there is – report immediately.
Note: There are many documents, not listed in this blog that should be kept, shredded, ad scanned. The purpose of this blog is to create awareness against identity theft and fraud, Be cautious when throwing items away and when shredding to ensure you are protecting your identity the best way possible.