We worry that shredded paper will blow around your yard and neighborhood while awaiting curbside collection or while being emptied into the collection truck. Please take the following steps to prepare your confidential and/or sensitive documents for recycling:
- Place paper shreds into a paper bag and staple or tape the bag shut.
- Add the paper bag to your other paper recyclables. Or
- "Sandwich" or secure your unbundled shreds in a cardboard box.
- Seal the cardboard box shut.
Dan Tynan, author of DIY Identity Theft Protection A 12 Step Program offers the following tips:
- Get a free copy of your credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
Or call 877-322-8228
- Order a free report every three (3) months from a different credit-reporting bureau (see below).Â Scan the report for unfamiliar information such as accounts you don't remember opening.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling on of the credit bureaus. You can find the contact information for all three bureaus by browsing http://wwwfightidentitytheft.com/credit_bureaus.html?nobid=1
- Put a recurring event on your on-line calendar to remind you to renew your fraud alert in 90 days.
- Tell the bureaus to stop selling your information to credit services by calling 888-567-8688. Doing so will eliminate the number of preapproved credit card offers you receive.
- Request a free public records report from Choice Point: http://www.lexisnexis.com/risk/
Scan the report for addresses and other details not related to you.
- Take your name off other marketing lists.
- Buy a mailbox that locks or use a post office box.
- Buy a cross cut paper shredder and shred junk mail to frustrate dumpster diving identity thieves.
* It is recommended that you shred anything with any personal information on it. Thieves love your trash! Shred all bank correspondence & records, insurance correspondence and records, credit/debit card receipts, credit statements, old bills of any kind, unsolicited applications of any type. ANYTHING with your social security or driver's license number or your birthdate!! And just for luck anything with an account number on it and your address. Better to wear out a shredded than get your identity stolen from the trash.
- Never click a link from an email message to log into your bank or to any other financial institution.Â Type the secure site's address into your browser, bookmark it and use that link to access your accounts. Otherwise you risk having your identity stolen by phishers.
- If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center: http://www.identitytheftcenter.org
Volunteers there can walk you through the process of restoring your identity.
- Get educated:
Mari Frank's Identity Theft.org
Privacy Rights Clearing House, http://privacyrights.org/ and
The Federal Trade Commission, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
The above organizations maintain huge libraries of information on how to avoid being victimized, and what to do if it has already happened.
If you suspect and/or discover you are a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and your local Police Department.
FTC, Phone: 887-438-4338
Credit Bureau Contact Info:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022