A Los Angeles woman flew to Las Vegas, ate at one of the finest restaurants, gambled, and went on a shopping spree….all from the comfort of her own living room. How is this possible, you ask? She was the victim of identity theft.
Records show that 2 credit cards were opened in her name, and high-dollar items were ordered from the Internet, along with her bank accounts being all but wiped out.
During the investigation, tips led police to a small house on the outskirts of Los Angeles with enough evidence from surveillance cameras for a warrant. When nobody answered the door, the police walked the perimeter of the house. After gaining entry to the home, they were a little surprised at what they found.
Investigations into identity theft cases generally turn up evidence of the victim’s computer information being hacked and mail being stolen from mailboxes. Not this one. No, this one was different.
The home appeared to be littered with trash, but upon closer investigation the “trash” turned out to be shredded material from a personal home shredding machine; a shred of evidence of the crime of identity theft. The dining room table and surrounding surfaces contained personal, sensitive documents that were very painstakingly taped together after being assembled like a puzzle of sorts.
This would have taken several weeks or months though, right? Maybe not as long as you would think.
When we destroy sensitive documents in a personal shredder, we generally do so into a little wastebasket with a small bag to catch the shredded material. Each of these small bags usually contains enough sensitive information to wreak havoc on someone’s life.
When shredded documents are mixed with hundreds of thousands of other shredded documents in the truck of a professional document destruction service, putting this “puzzle” back together in order to gain any usable information from it is virtually impossible.
Using a personal shredder may not be a bad idea in all cases, but when it comes to documents containing information that could put you in jeopardy for identity theft, a professional, certified shredding service is best. Don't leave a shred of evidence for identity thieves to use against you.
For more information on certified document destruction visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.