Would you want strangers to know how much you earn? Read about the recent medical services you received? Or see that your insurer is threatening to cancel your auto policy for nonpayment?
If you're simply throwing this and other sensitive paperwork into the recycling bin, that's exactly the type of information you're exposing to the world. And identity thieves may be targeting recycled paperwork to obtain peoples' personal information.
In just one New York town's public recycling facility we found payroll stubs, credit card offers, medical billing statements, late payment notices, and more, all with recipients' names, addresses, and account numbers. During our visits, the recycling facility was busy with people coming and going, and the documents were in the paper recycling bin available to anyone who wanted them.
Here are examples of what we found:
Even if the info can't be used to steal your identity, you probably don't want your neighbors knowing such personal information.
What to do: When recycling old paperwork, carefully tear it up or, even better, shred it.