Identity theft may seem like a faraway possibility, but the truth of the matter is it’s a chronic problem, and its getting worse. In 2018, Javelin published an Identity Fraud Report which stated that identity fraud led to criminals obtaining 16.8 billion dollars in 2017. Furthermore, it was stated that 17 million Americans experienced identity fraud in the year 2017, which in addition to just being a generally huge number, is an 8 percent increase from the year 2016. Of course, many of those data breaches happened online, but it is also important that identity theft can, and often does, occur via document/paper mail breach. So what are ways in which people might receive confidential info about your via your paper or mail?

Credit card offers are one notorious way by which identity thieves may steal your precious information. Things to look for in terms of suspicious credit card offers you may receive in your mail include: preprinted application forms (especially if these forms contain sensitive information like your name, address, or date of birth), things that tell you you have been pre-approved for a certain card (unfortunately it’s never that easy) and more.

Charitable solicitations may also want your information. If they are sending you mailing after mailing, it’s probably for a reason. This could be that you were identified as a prospective donor. Either way, you want to make sure they do not obtain too much of your personal information.

Bills and bank account statements are another way by which criminals may steal your personal, financial information. Thieves can easily steal phone, cable or utility bills from your mailbox- these gave them access to your account number, address and name- which is a lot of info in the hands of a criminal. Furthermore, they can steal a bank account right from your mailbox, which will give them account info, often enough to start another account with your information.

Membership offers are a sneaky way by which people may steal your identity. Group that send you mail that know a lot about you are especially dangerous. If these documents have your name, address, age or other details, it may be particularly useful to identity thieves.

Tax documents and blank checks are two other forms by which identity thieves could perhaps steal from you.

If you want to avoid identity theft, be smart and make sure you are cautious with the paper mail options listed above. Make sure they are protected or best of all, shredded. Contact Shred With Us to create a document destruction plan that includes paper documents and mail. We will have your sensitive information shredded ASAP, so you can rest assured!

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