The old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” takes on a new and scary meaning when applied to dumpster diving and identity theft. Unfortunately, not everyone who sorts through trash is looking for day-old bagels. Some dumpster divers are actually identity thieves, and they are looking for your personal information.
Preventing Garbage-Related Identity Theft
When it comes to protecting the info contained in your documents, there are measures you can take. When it comes to personal data, the most important thing to remember is to not get careless. If you toss out anything that should be kept private, you may be inviting someone to commit fraud in your name.
- Create a secure space for papers.
If you have documents that you intend to hold on to, make sure that you have a safe place to put them. A strongbox or a locked file cabinet would be ideal. In the event of theft, you don’t want your personal info to be exposed to theft along with your other valuables. Also, if these papers are securely kept in one place, you will be less likely to throw them away by mistake.
- Consider buying a shredder.
For documents that you wish to dispose of, putting them (more…)
How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents
You’ll also want to safely keep other documents for the right amount of time
Tax season is the perfect time to start culling your paper piles and computer files and getting everything in order. You’ve already delved into your financial records, so you might as well take the time to organize them.
Why, you may wonder, should you make tax season even worse than it already is? There are plenty of good reasons for getting your papers in order. One is that if you haven’t yet completed your taxes, getting your paperwork in order will reduce tax-preparation anxiety. And if you have already filed your taxes, you’ll want to know how long to keep tax records and other financial papers in case you’re audited.
There are other instances when being organized can pay off. If you’re meeting with a financial adviser or an attorney, you don’t want to spend hours wading through clutter to find the documents you need. If there’s a fire, flood, or theft, you’ll need access to essential documents quickly. And if you become ill, well-organized paperwork will make it easier for your loved ones to locate your health-care power of attorney, insurance policies, medical (more…)
COSTA MESA, Calif., May 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — News of data breaches and the risks of identity theft and fraud persist, but consumers’ vigilance and awareness haven’t kept pace. A national survey by Experian, the world’s leading global information services company, revealed that not only is America’s collective guard down, but people feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to identity theft. The survey results coincide with Experian’s national launch of IdentityWorksSM, a comprehensive set of identity theft protection products offering consumers a powerful and user-friendly array of features, including Experian CreditLock and extensive dark web monitoring.
IdentityWorks helps consumers recognize potential identity fraud and respond to it, arming them with credit monitoring and alerts, and credit reports and scores — which are often the first indicators of identity theft and fraud. This new product extends well beyond credit information to include dark web monitoring and alerts, and noncredit transaction monitoring (bank account, Social Security number, change of address, etc.) to detect when a (more…)
Thousands potentially exposed to identity theft after county published sensitive information online
Denver7 investigation spurs sweeping changes
6:09 PM, May 8, 2017
10:27 PM, May 8, 2017
larimer county | fort collins | identity theft | social security number | ryan luby
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Larimer County Clerk and Recorder’s office made sweeping changes to how it conducts business amid a Denver7 investigation, which revealed how officials had published sensitive information belonging to thousands of people online for months.
Among the records were child support liens, death certificates, and commercial lending filings. Many of them contained a variation of social security numbers and dates of birth — the types of information that would be valuable to identity thieves.
Early last week, the county clerk was hesitant to redact or remove the information from the online portal, but finalized changes on Friday. Though the sensitive records are no longer available online, the risk could remain for the people whose identities were exposed.
Will McDonough called the Denver7 Investigates tip line to bring the issue to light after discovering his social security number on the Larimer County website.
“It came to light that there were some documents out on the Larimer County site…that had my personal, identifiable information on it,” McDonough (more…)