View Full Version : Identity Theft


EYEFORGOT
10-28-07, 09:55 PM
It seems like everyone I meet nowadays has a shredder.

What do you shred? Anything with your name and address on it? Even the junk mail and credit card offers?

Do you recycle the shreds? Or trash it with extra disgusting slop in the bag?

What else do you do to "clean up" after yourself, so to speak, to keep yourself as safe as possible from those who know how to use these things to their advantage?

KittenPoker
10-29-07, 07:10 AM
We have a shredder. The Mr and I fight at times about what gets shredded but darn it! I know at least two people personally who've had ID theft happen. And we'd recycle the shred if our city had a better system in place. We have to haul recycling down ourselves versus curbside pick-up.

We shred credit offers, catalog inserts with our pre-printed name and address, old bills, and receipts.

Other ways we keep ourselves safe? I have only one personal email address with my real name. I have several with screennames. If I send you an email from my GMail account it'll say Kitten Poker. I use the freebee email accounts for junk mail and forum sign-ups.

Matt S.
10-29-07, 08:51 AM
Throw it in the woodstove, burn baby burn!

ozchris
10-29-07, 08:55 AM
Don't really have to worry about it here in Australia.

Seems people are getting more and more paranoid over things like this though :(

maori_boy
10-29-07, 09:22 AM
ive never ever heard of that.

~boots~
10-29-07, 11:19 AM
I never shred...I figure I don't have enough money for someone to to to the effort to steal my identity!! LOL

I mean..if they want to scrounge AT THE RUBBISH DUMP amongst tons of smelly food scraps, rotting garden matter, and dog poo, TO FIND my soggy smelly paperwork...all to get a few lousy hundred bucks, then they are welcome to it..

besides..my bank covers all fraudulent activity under their insurance ;-)

maori_boy
10-29-07, 11:25 AM
haha true
they cant steal my laptop tho..gee that would be the end of the world
and poor traceys knitted socks.

~boots~
10-29-07, 11:27 AM
haha true
they cant steal my laptop tho..gee that would be the end of the world
and poor traceys knitted socks. :D :D I don't have a laptop...lucky you..

Matt S.
10-29-07, 11:30 AM
Identity theft seems to be popular among the sociopaths in the USA, sure it happens everywhere but it seems like an epidemic here.

kilted_scotsman
10-29-07, 12:28 PM
Happens alot here in the UK. They're getting quite sophisticated too. Many scams, mortgage, loans, cards (until chip and pin)

Had our (full) bin nicked at our last house and my dad has recently had his nicked. They targetted up becasue we lived in a large house, my dad because he is elderly.

After our incident we later had a few debt collectors round asking questions, however we have an old style bank and they were able to sort things out quickly. They have also picked up on other fraudulent financial activity using our identity and stamped on it.

I am more concerned for my dad as he is older and banks with a conventional moneygrabbing bank who would not help him to the same extent.

We have a shredder. I am also extremely wary of being called by anyone purporting to be from a credit card company asking us to confirm something......we just hang up and phone the company back.

kilt

Matt S.
10-29-07, 01:21 PM
lucky for me, bipolar disorder alone trashes my credit rating, so I don't foresee anyone wanting to steal my identity...

Crackerjack
11-05-07, 09:19 PM
Someone once got a hold of my info (no idea how) and opened up an account with Sprint PCS then didn't bother to pay the bill. I didn't find out for a few months.

After I discovered it, Sprint was great in fixing the issue, the problem was with the collection agency which opened their own investigation and said I owed them the $$ even after I got a letter from Sprint clearing me of any wrongdoing.

Long story short, I called BS on the collection agency and they ended up dropping the issue.

So I shred anything which can ID me, as well as keep tabs on my credit card and history through a monitoring agency.

Skully
11-05-07, 09:25 PM
I have a shredder but I usually burn my paper garbage. I live in the county and we can burn garbage if we want. Not really good for the environment, but I do it anyway. I would shred anything that has an account number or social security number on it. Even those free credit card hoaxes you get in the mail. Someone could open up that account under your name and run up a bill on you.

FrazzleDazzle
11-05-07, 09:58 PM
I shred ANYTHING with my name or any personal info on it. Even somthing I print from the computer and toss.

Unfortunate that here we cannot recycle shredded paper. :confused:

I watch all my card bills a few times a month to make sure what's on there is what I put on there and signed up (cheap for peace of mind) with a monitoring agency.

I did a big booboo though a couple of years ago, when filling out an online job application. I just filled out what it asked for, SS#, licence number, every bleeping thing they needed to take my identity. I realized what I had done right after I het the send button, and boy did I sweat. Thing is, someone could take that and do a lot with it, and I would have no idea, necessarily. Very scary.

Anytime you give over your card, or apply for a loan, purchase a vehicle, or whatever, you are literally trusting someone behind the counter with your financial integrity. YOu have no idea how loose that info is back there. If you trust them people behind the counter, can you trust the cleaning people who come in at night at your doctor's office? They have access to IT ALL.

Did I say, scary???

Crackerjack
11-05-07, 10:02 PM
Anytime you give over your card, or apply for a loan, purchase a vehicle, or whatever, you are literally trusting someone behind the counter with your financial integrity. YOu have no idea how loose that info is back there. If you trust them people behind the counter, can you trust the cleaning people who come in at night at your doctor's office? They have access to IT ALL.True.

One thing which has been mentioned recently is a rise in ID theft which occurs from an inside job -- someone working in the company -- who eithers sells the info or tries to open accounts themselves.

A credit monitoring agency is a good idea. :D

HighFunctioning
11-05-07, 10:20 PM
I use a paper shredder for anything that I don't keep beyond junk mail and envelopes. I'm not exactly the most motivated towards sorting through all the junk and deciding what needs to be shredded. I do usually shred credit card offers. I also give almost no information about myself when surfing online unless doing so is inherent to what I want (i.e. lying on/bypassing compulsory registration systems on websites).

meadd823
11-05-07, 11:47 PM
I watch all my card bills a few times a month to make sure what's on there is what I put on there and signed up (cheap for peace of mind) with a monitoring agency.

I have only one major credit card that I am able to keep up with nicely I look at the invoice every month. I also keep receipts of things purchased with credit so I can remember what I purchased where. I do the same with my dept card.

I also use things like pay-pal when buying things on line.

I have a fire place that gets all the goodies in the winter during the summer all credit car offers get shredded, things with any accounts numbers do also. I also mix the shredding with things like used kitty litter to make taping the things back together would be a smelly process that would be difficult given the nature of kitty littler feces and urine that would render the task hardly worth the effort.

Some do like Gary and simply have crappy credit To steal his identity would have creditors climbing out of the wood work {ADD version of auto pay back is a **tch}

justhope
11-06-07, 01:12 AM
Just a little professional advice...from someone who deals wiht the fall out of things like this EVERY Day....

If it has one thing on it, that can identify you...other than you name....
Shred it..burn it...
If you can, try to avoid getting too many things in the mail...bank statements, credit card statements etc. I used to be scared to death of paying things online....until I saw the amount of fraud that happens, especially from things that are left in the mail, are thrown out intact......now I just save money in trash bags...and got a really good firewall...and some learned some basics on what to watch for online....
I use the Paypal thing just like my sister....load it, spend it..it's not my entire check waiting for some jerk to steal...

Unfortuantely, the saddest thing I see in my daily job...is the fact that most fraud that does happen...is caused by someone you know. Kids, parents, siblings, friends, neighbors...it's unbelieveable what people will do to each other....and they are close? So not only learn how to protect yourself from "strangers" but watch those close to you as well.

HF had a good point...everything that doesn't go in the "junkpile' , goes in the shredder....(except , credit card offers, are NOT junkmail...shred them too! )

Ok sorry...I just say this...and thought well. My sister comes in handy so many times here and in my life...wiht that nursing degree...perhaps I can help someone out...with something I do everyday.......

Btw, I got 2 shredders....the baby one in my room for the junk , that is not junk mail...the the "jumbo" one...that sits by the computer and hums away on payday....!

Take care...

Hope

Honeybunnie8
11-09-07, 06:47 PM
I hand shred stuff, my husband dosen't shred anything. I guess I don't worry that much although I probably should.
I have had my information stolen and charges put on my credit card before. I had to call the companies and have the charges removed. My information was stolen right at the post office so nothing I could have done could have stopped them. I just got copies and a letter informing me about a trail and my stuff was evidence.
I have also had lots of credit cards magically disappear inbetween the company and my mail box. I just call and tell them I never recieved it and have them reissue one and make sure no one opened it and charged.

meadd823
11-10-07, 03:42 AM
My information was stolen right at the post office so nothing I could have done could have stopped them.

Talk about scary thought of the week maybe Gary is on to some thing with his crappy credit approach.

meadd823
11-15-07, 06:06 AM
Oh I was filling out one of those opt out things for my bank today and thought I would remind others here about these things-

I hate the fact that in order to have people NOT send solicitations or give my address to others so they can try to sell me junk I have to "opt out" -which means remembering to fill out a form AND mail it - does any one have a stamp and how much are they these days}

Even though I think institutions should get your PERMISSION to send you junk mail I guess they knew a lot of people would forget to sent the opt out notice in writing through the snail mail -

Funny thing my bank I can transfer $500.00 on-line any where in the world but that same Internet isn't good enough for me to opt out of junk mail :mad: - no they have to have my "real ink" signature. I smell a rat :soapbox: but never the less one of the best ways to avoid identity theft is to decrease the number of chances by actually remembering to fill out opt out forms sent by banks, lending institutions, credit cards ect. . . .maybe even place you number on the "do not call registry" {in the US}

lunaslobo
01-28-08, 08:23 AM
one thing about shreadding is I hear that some people that steal peoples trash still try to but the stuff back together. I found a tip that if you have cats that after you shread something put it in the cat litter when you change it, or if you have babies put it with the disposible diapers, not many like to go thru those things. these are espesially helpfull if you dont have a shedder and are ripping things up.

busyhermit
01-28-08, 10:49 AM
Someone once got a hold of my info (no idea how) and opened up an account with Sprint PCS then didn't bother to pay the bill. I didn't find out for a few months.

After I discovered it, Sprint was great in fixing the issue,Ditto. Seems Sprint is not too picky about who they'll let open an account. The crooks also tried to charge something to one of my credit cards, but the card company denied it (yay Chase!). I hadn't used the card for years, so have no idea where they got that info. They also applied for a new card using my name and SS#, but were denied (that's either a yay for Capital One or for my poor credit rating :p).

Here's another story from my personal experience: Ethically-challenged family moves into a new house. The post office only forwards the previous resident's mail for a limited amount of time (it's a year or two, can't remember). Anyhow, junk mail (including credit card offers) in the previous resident's name begin to arrive. Ethically-challenged current resident fills out the credit card offer and Presto!, free money to the tune of about $7,000!!

Here's my opinion:
1) Definitely shred or burn anything with account numbers or personal information on it.
2) Crooks will always find a way to steal your identity regardless, so watch your back so you can nip it in the bud. Closely check your credit card statements every month for unauthorized charges and ****check those credit reports!!!****. You can do it once a year for free.