“Nearly 10 million Americans fell victim to identity theft fraud in 2008,” according to ProtectYourIDNow.org. Last month in Roseville, CA a group of identity thieves managed to steal the credit card numbers of potentially 200 known victims (and who knows how many others) at local restaurants, according to the SacBee. Identity theft is hard to control when we have “no control” over what happens, like when we hand our card to a merchant for payment. We do have control over other potential threats to identity theft, however.
For instance, what do you do with all of your unwanted mail that comes to your home? What about old bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns or other papers that carry personal information about you? Do you toss them in the trash? Perhaps you are more environmentally conscious and place it in the recycle bin.
Your trash is fair game when it sits at the curbside, on a public street, waiting for pickup. There isn’t any law against taking trash. “In 1988 the US Supreme Court ruled that trash-picking is legal,” according to The Mayor of Concord. This law came about due to police using trash as evidence in a crime. The court determined that it was legal for the police to go through your trash. This of course was prior to the days of rampant identity theft but it set a precedent for taking trash.
Now anyone can pick through your trash and take whatever they like. If their intent is to steal your identity, that is illegal, proving that intent is another thing. How can you protect yourself against all of the various identity theft scams that seem to be cropping up? One company in San Jose is ready to answer that question when it comes to your unwanted personally identifiable papers.
SurePath Financial Solutions, a debt and credit counseling solution company in San Jose is sponsoring Protect Your Identity Week. “Consumers will be able to shred up to two boxes of personal information and safely recycle their old cell phones,” according to ProtectYourIDNow.org.
San Jose Location for Protect Your Identity Week
1190 S. Bascom Ave.
San Jose, CA
10/22/10 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
SurePath Financial Solutions
For more information on Protect Your Identity Week contact:
Take the identity theft risk quiz to see if you are at risk for becoming a victim of identity theft.
“SurePath Financial Solutions is a nonprofit organization that provides caring, innovative solutions that educate and empower consumers to successfully handle immediate financial challenges and plan for their future”–Surepath.org.