Shredding to Protect from Identity Theft

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, almost 15 million Americans fall victim to identity fraud each year in the United States. With at least 7 percent of U.S. homes reporting some kind of identity fraud, understanding the ins and outs of identity theft is critical to protecting yourself and your family from loss. Identity theft doesn’t discriminate when it comes to victims. This means that each and every person in the country is vulnerable unless they are taking strategic and deliberate measures to safeguard their most valuable and private information. Total financial losses in the United States reach about $50 billion annually. These are huge numbers and must be addressed seriously.

Unfortunately, with the growing accessibility of digital databases in the new age, identity theft is easier than ever before. Breaking it down to a case by case basis, this indicates that an estimated $3,500 is lost each and every time identity theft occurs. When records that are maintained in corporate databases and government databases become stolen or lost, nearly 100 million Americans are put at risk for their identity and/or personal and financial information to be compromised. As a result, the last decade marks that identity theft is the most widespread and costly crime in the nation today.

Paper shredding is one of the most successful ways to circumvent identity theft. Today, however, much of our most personal information is stored in digital platforms. As such, hiring a professional to ensure that your private records are protected is imperative. Each week identity thieves look forward to trash day. This is because this marks an easy opportunity for them to look through the garbage in neighborhood seeking private information to take advantage of. In fact, it has been said that identity theft criminals refer to trash day as “cash day”, marking an incredibly dangerous day for theft.

Be sure to shred the following items prior to throwing them away:

  • Debit and credit cards that have expired
  • All receipts of any kind
  • Banking and any financial statements
  • Pre-approved credit card applications and offers
  • Canceled checks
  • Paycheck stubs
  • All bills
  • Tax returns and any associated tax paperwork
  • Insurance information
  • Medical information
  • Identification documents

Make sure you are protecting your identity and your family’s well being by taking a proactive approach to paper shredding and document destruction.

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