Identity Fraud

This month on the blog we’re looking at Identity Fraud. Why? you might ask, after all, we’re a wheelie bin cleaning company, not security experts. Bear with us because bins and your security do have a connection.

These days we’re all familiar with identity fraud, either having experienced it ourselves or we know someone who has. Although it is relatively new it’s one of the fastest-growing crimes of our age.

The shocking fact is that IF can begin with your wheelie bin, it can be a treasure trove of information about the people who live in your home.  Almost everything a criminal needs to know could be found in your wheelie bin including:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card information
  • Copies of driving licenses
  • Copies of passports
  • Credit applications
  • Mortgage statements
  • Insurance policy information
  • Copies of vehicle registration
  • Phone records
  • Utility bills

And on bin collection day (or worse, the night before) we just wheel it out onto our drive or the pavement and walk away.

You may not think that anyone would bother to go through your bin, but the truth is the lure of possible information that could help a criminal steal your identity is worth it to them.

The best and most secure way is to go paperless, almost any company or government association now offers this option. No paperwork, nothing for a criminal to find

But there will always be occasions when you need physical paperwork, so how do you avoid the possibility of the discarded information being of use to someone.  The obvious way is to make any paperwork illegible. Tearing into small strips just won’t work, a dedicated criminal will know how to piece it back together if it’s worth their while.

Our advice is to treat yourself to a shredder. A heavy-duty cross-cut shredder is the best, but if you don’t have much in the way of paperwork then a cheap lightweight shredder will do the job.

It’s a simple thing that many people don’t give much thought to, but it could be the difference between being safe and having your identity stolen.

Here at Freshbinz Ltd, we have a great shredder for the office and we’re now off to buy one for the home.

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