Identity Theft from Dumpster Diving - What You Need to Know

Dumpster Diving2

High-tech attacks like hacking of company databases or email phishing schemes get lots of attention, but low tech identity theft crimes like ‘dumpster diving’ for discarded mail or other documents with personal information are still a big cause for concern. Thieves can use your trash to steal your identity.

Why fraudsters dig through rubbish bins

Stealing mail from a trash can doesn’t take sophisticated computer skills or access to expensive equipment, making it a very easy pastime for common thieves. And even if you are careful about shredding your bank statements or credit card bills there is a wealth of information to be found in what you might think of as garbage or junk mail.

How trash is an ID theft goldmine

Identity fraudsters only need your name and address – two pieces of personal information easily found by rummaging through rubbish. That is all that is needed to file a change of address with the post office which will reroute all your future mail to a new address, one of the ways thieves can begin to take over your identity.

By looking at return addresses on your thrown-away mail, these criminals can figure out where you bank or shop. They will know what insurance company you use or who holds your mortgage. They can then use this information to apply for credit or commit other acts of identity fraud.

What should you shred?

Experts recommend that we shred every piece of mail that contains any personally identifiable information, including just your name or address. That means:

  • every envelope
  • every postcard or flyer
  • every package label
  • every prescription label
  • every receipt or statement.

Bad news. That is a lot of shredding.

The average home shredder can only handle a few pages at a time. A week’s worth of junk mail and Amazon Prime labels alone can have you crouched over your shredder for longer than your patience will last.

Self-destructive labels are the solution

That everyday hassle was the inspiration for our self-shredding label design. We wanted to find a way to make it easier for consumers to destroy their name and address on a piece of mail without having to shred every bit of paper.

Our design lets you pull a tiny thread, and the sensitive information is destroyed - instantly.

Sounds interesting? Learn more and watch a short animation of how the Self-Shredding Label works

Protect yourself against identity theft

Losing your identity is painful and costly, and unfortunately in this day and age, we have to be hyper-vigilant to protect ourselves from all sources of identity theft. There are services like LifeLock or IDWatchdog to help protect yourself online. But, you are the only one who can protect yourself at home.

Be sure to set up a system for destroying your sensitive personal information before it ends up in the trash.

Finally, if you would be interested in licensing the Invaluable Inventions, the Self-Shredding Labeldo get in touch

Check back for more novel, smart, innovative product ideas. We’re also on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.


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