How to Reduce Innocent Exposure to Identity Theft

Picture this, you’ve just arrived home after a relaxing holiday overseas. You empty your pockets of your family’s boarding passes. You relieve your wallet or purse from a wad of holiday ATM receipts. And, you bundle up a pile of junk mail that’s accumulated in your mailbox. As you toss all these items into the recycling bin you may not be aware you have just exposed yourself, and your family, to identity theft.

You are not alone. Up to 75% of Australian’s throw away seemingly innocent documents which could be used to steal their identity1. Fraud from identity theft is growing in Australia and costs the nation over $1.6 billion each year2. The media focuses heavily on keeping digital data secure. However, it could be just as likely that some discarded waste paper lets a criminal into your life.

So called important documents like financial records, bank statements and photo identification are often stored securely in the home. Other less formal documents may appear innocent on their own but thieves can quickly stitch together enough information to commit fraud.

Airline boarding passes contain barcodes which can reveal a lot of personal information to sophisticated frausdters. They also display the dates and times of travel. ATM receipts, on the other hand, provide valuable transaction data which is often a way to confirm identity with financial institutions. Lastly, junk mail by nature is filled with promotional offers, even actual credit cards personalised to you, that simply need to be activated to become operational.

Getting in the habit of storing all your paperwork securely until it is time to be disposed of is important. Then having a secure disposal system for all your personal paperwork is vital in the prevention of fraud.

Eshred can tailor a secure document-destruction solution to suit your needs. We can organise a scheduled service with lockable security bins collected daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Or we can provide you with a one-off delivery of two bins, that we’ll collect two weeks later. We even offer an economical drop-off option at our Kogarah facility.

To find out more about our services or to book a bin, phone 1300 629 875.

Sources:

  1. Newspoll Survey 2010
  2. Australian Federal Police: Identity Crime https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/fraud/identity-crime