Recently, Cincinnati local news interviewed a woman who spent two years in jail for identity theft. The identity thief, known as Mary, made around $500 to $2,000 a day using fraudulent methods, which was more than enough to fuel her drug addiction. She told local news reporters that she and her husband siphoned around $50,000 from 250 victims before they were arrested.
Fortunately, significant financial losses resulting from identity theft can be prevented by practicing safety measures like document shredding in Los Angeles. Sadly, Mary's case is far from unique. During the late 1990s, a named Stephen Massey operated a major identity theft cell in America which victimized hundreds of people; Massey funded his meth addiction by dumpster diving.
But how do identity thieves manage to steal personal information right down to the victim's signature? Identity thieves tend to go after information they can use like account names, social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, and contact details—all of which can be obtained by dumpster diving. Such information can be easily copied to make fraudulent transactions in the victim's name.
When identity thieves obtain a victim's personal information, it's relatively easy to forge checks and make illegal transactions. Moreover, if identity thieves ensure that credit card bills and fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts are sent to an address other than the victim's, the victim will remain blissfully unaware of these activities until serious damage has been inflicted. Fortunately, document shredding and other safety measures will prevent personal information from falling into unscrupulous hands.
Identity theft is a major issue in America, particularly in large cities like Los Angeles; the LAPD reported 10,000 cases of identity theft in 2003. Hence, document shredding in Los Angeles should be incorporated into the data protection plan of every individual and organization. Dumpster divers are welcome to try and obtain sensitive information, but the fineness of the shredding process can make reassembly attempts futile.
By hiring a professional document shredding firm to handle all aspects of the disposal process, you can safeguard your personal data and prevent identity theft. Shredded documents won't end up in the dumpster, but will be disposed off or recycled in a secure location. You can go to the WKRC-TV website for more of Mary's story, as well as the website of the US Department of Justice for more information on identity theft: justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html.
Document Shredding in LA: Safeguarding Personal Information