News Story
Posted by Transylvania County on June 14, 2021

The truth is, people have been going through each other's trash forever.  But over the years, criminals have started to focus on trash for identity theft.  Considering this, here is a quick review of last week and a few more tips to help prevent your trash from turning into an identity theft headache.

 

Take trash with you:  The most secure thing to do is to always take receipts home with you and shred them completely before disposal. 

 

You’ve been pre-approved:  Avoid the risk and just shred those credit card offers. 

 

Don’t put it out early:  The best thing to do is to put your trash can out early in the morning the day it gets picked up. 

 

Cut it up:

 

When you make a big purchase - say a new TV - you don’t need the whole world to know.  But if you put a huge box out for trash or recycling, you're announcing your purchase to any criminal paying attention. 

 

The best thing to do is to cut everything up.  Whether it’s a TV, or even a small electronic item, you should cut the cardboard box up into flat pieces.  You can disguise what you bought by putting it in a pile with other boxes such as things from the grocery store. 

 

Make it a habit to always shred important documents before putting them in the trash.  If you are throwing away something such as a credit card, cut it into multiple pieces. 

 

Then, you can throw away a few pieces in your trash and trash cans at other locations 

 

That way, if a criminal digs through every bit of your trash they won’t have all the pieces of the credit card.

 

The bottom line is: 

 

Despite our technology-driven world, old-fashioned “dumpster diving” remains a popular method for stealing personal information.  Use these tips to avoid becoming a victim.

 

Source: Jason Hanson & U.S. Department of Justice