Alyssa, a 32 year old office worker had stayed back from work late one Friday night after an unprecedented amount of filing had hit her desk.
Exhausted and low on fuel, she pulled into the nearest service station on he drive home. She was going to fill up ahead of the weekend, withdraw some extra cash and indulge in her favour takeaway dinner along with her husband.
She approached the counter to pay, handed over her keycard and waited patiently as the attendant punched her request into the EFTPOS terminal. An unfamiliar ‘beep’ prompted her to view the screen where a ‘Declined’ message appeared.
Puzzled, she silently cursed her husband. He often made withdrawals on their account for bill-paying and reached the daily limit. This must’ve been the case. On a second attempt, she asked the attendant to cancel the cash out request and simply pay for the tank of petrol. Again, it was declined and she was forced to log in to her online banking as a queue of customers began to form behind her.
Once logged on, her balance may as well have slapped her in the face. It read $0.32. An account that only a week earlier was well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Something wasn’t adding up. Further investigation into her transaction records revealed that several withdrawals had been made from a handful of locations around Melbourne over the week. Alyssa lived in Sydney and neither her nor her husband (the only other card holder) had been interstate.
Frantically, being unable to pay for her fuel, she called her husband to collect her from the service station. The pair immediately called their bank and reported the stolen money after ascertaining that neither had lost or misplaced their cards.
After sharing their story (not to mention their bewilderment) with several friends and colleagues, Alyssa and her husband became aware that they were the victims of identity fraud. Alyssa’s husband, a small business owner, had recently booked a holiday for the couple through his work computer. He had left his wallet with his debit MasterCard inside at home one day, accidentally and called Alyssa for the details. He had written the information on paper, then disposed of it into the office recycling bin. Colleagues had said they’d heard horror stories of opportunists sifting through office documents in the hope for a jackpot like an individual’s bank details.
Identify theft is unfortunately a very real issue that affects millions of people every day. Small businesses and individuals are often the worst hit as they are unaware of the importance of secure document disposal, also known as shredding.
Small business secure document shredding is an investment in your livelihood as well as your security and peace of mind. At EShred, we offer certified document destruction and secure document shredding services.
EShred guarantees complete records destruction, bin supply and pickup service, as well as daily and weekly document destruction services.
In Alyssa’s case, the risk of identity theft would have been considerably reduced had her husband invested in the secure document shredding service that only Eshred can provide