Fraud Prevention & Importance of Using a Shredder
Identity Theft and Credit Card Facts:
- Banks nationwide lost $400,000 million on 600,000 account during the first half of 1996 due to fraud.
- Instances of fraud for MasterCard and Visa increased 11% in 1995, 19% in 1994 and 4% in 1993.
Source: American Bankers Association
- In 1994, gross fraud charge-offs for MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards reached a high of $712 million, with total outstanding balances of $257 billion.
- In 1995, gross fraud charge-offs for MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards reached a high of $790 million, with total outstanding balances of $321 billion.
Source: American Bankers Association 1996 Bank Card Industry Survey Report
- More than 300,000 people are defrauded each year.
- In 1997 the Trans Union received 522,922 inquiries about its fraud victim assistance, up from 33,235 in 1995.
- Identity thieves collect billions of dollars each year by illegally assuming their victims identities.
Source: Trans Union - National Credit Bureau
- Credit card losses due to identity theft in 1996 were four times greater than in 1995.
Source: MasterCard International, Inc.
- Identity theft became callers number one topic of concern in 1996 and 1997.
Source: Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
- TRW, one of the three largest credit bureaus, averaged 600 to 700 new fraud cases every day.
Source: Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine - July 1995
- Losses due to check fraud for commercial banks, savings institutions and credit unions totaled $615.4 million in 1995.
Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System - 1996 Report to the Congress.
- "We recently received a package cushioned with 1/4" strips of shredded paper filler .. made from bank records! Names, addresses, deposit amounts, account numbers, phone numbers, Social Security numbers. It was all there. Easily reconstructed. We wrote to the company who sent us the box .... 'Your packing material was most interesting (the recycled paper). Is there a company that supplies it? Is there a charge for it? If you have a company name I would appreciate your sharing it with me. Thanks!' Their reply... 'Check with any local bank - they shred 6-10 bags per week - you can get it for free for the asking!' "
- Spybuster Tips
Source: Eavesdropping Detection Specialists - Murrary Associates - Bank Record Shredding
The fastest growing consumer fraud is identity fraud. Identity fraud happens when a thief creates a "credit clone" of you using your personal information. Identity fraud is easy for perpetrators to commit. These criminals are seldom caught and reversing the damage is difficult.
Possible Signs of Identity Fraud:
- There is no more money in your checking or savings account.
- Credit card companies you haven't applied for, or owe money to, send you bills.
- You can't secure a loan because of bad credit.
Places Personal Information can be obtained:
Anywhere that your name, social security number, telephone number and address appear.
- Personal checks
- Driver's licenses
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Pay stubs - showing your income and employer
- Paying bills - paying your credit card bill and writing your credit card number the check.
Buying a shredder is the best way to protect yourself from fraud. Shredders are very affordable and lightweight and cam be used for home or personal use. Shredding documents with your personal information can ensure financial safety.
- Shred all your waste paper, not just selected confidential items.
- Use a crosscut shredder.
- Make sure anyone with your personal information used a crosscut shredder.
- Make sure your bank properly handles your personal information.
- Encourage the destruction of all waste paper.
- Purchase shredders appropriate to your needs.
- Use crosscut shredders for a high level of security.
Examples of items that criminals can use if not properly disposed of:
|Address labels from junk mail and magazines
||Birth certificate copies|
|Canceled and voided checks
||Credit and charge card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts|
|Credit reports and histories
||Documents containing maiden name (used by credit card companies for security reasons)|
|Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses
||Documents relating to investments|
|Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers
||Driver's licenses or items with a driver's license number|
|Employee pay stubs
|Expired passports and visas
||Unlaminated identification cards (college IDs, state IDs, employee ID badges, military IDs)|
||Investments, stocks and property transactions|
|Item with a signature (leases, contracts, letters)
|Medical and dental records
||Papers with a Social Security number|
|Pre-approved credit card applications
||Receipts with checking account numbers|
||Resumés or curriculum vitae|
||Used airline tickets|
|Utility bills (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, Internet)|