What is the most popular method for stealing large amounts of your personal information? Dumpster Diving – digging through your trash is still the preferred method despite all the high-tech innovations available to identity thieves.
Do thieves really go through garbage looking for ways to steal your identity? We all think that thieves, digging through our trash is silly but it happens. Why? Pre-approved credit cards, credit card bills, bank statements and your personal information is why. Americans receive over four million tons of junk mail each year and this provides the average dumpster thief with a goldmine of personal information.
By rooting through your trash, the average thief can take the documents you discard as garbage and use it for a wide variety of illegal crimes.
Is dumpster diving a big threat?
It has been claimed that 88% of information collected by thieves is obtained through dumpster diving. And, based on the reports of identity theft victims, identity theft remains one of the fastest growing crimes in America.
Exactly what information can thieves collect?
- Employment history
- Pre-approved credit card offers
- Bank account information
- Street address
- Email address
- Social Security number
- Telephone number
Take a look at what thieves do with this information:
- Tax fraud
- Identity theft
- Benefits fraud
- Employment-related fraud
- Bank fraud
- Loan fraud/payday loan fraud
Here are a few startling statistics:
Americans receive over 4 million tons of junk mail each year.
Identity theft victims claim that 88% of the stolen information thieves obtained by dumpster diving.
How do you protect yourself?
Shred and destroy your documents: Dumpster diving is a proven method for thieves to gain access to your personal information by stealing discarded information. Shred it and forget it.
Protect your children’s information: These days, you are not the only person in your family at risk. More and more youth identities are being stolen so that thieves can commit employment or benefit-related fraud and get away with it for years before you even realize it.