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2014 April Newsletter



Tips for Disposing Your Personal Papers

Remember the old spy movie cliché, where an agent’s message would self-destruct when he or she was done reading it? If only our sensitive documents did the same, we wouldn’t have so many cases of identity theft.

Unfortunately, our old utility bills, bank statements and other personal papers don’t self destruct – and consequently, there are far too many instances of preventable fraud. The key word here, however, is “preventable”.

By knowing what to keep and what - and HOW - to dispose of, you can de-clutter your files and avoid becoming a victim of fraud. A great way to start is by reviewing this page on the U.S. government’s official web portal. There you’ll find a handy list detailing which papers you should keep and which papers you can shred. It also outlines a good strategy for how to organize your documents to make the job easier.

Shredding is also an important aspect of preventing fraud: do NOT simply throw your personal documents into the trash or recycling can. All it takes is for one nosy scammer to dig through the trash and you’re in for a world of problems. Instead, purchase an inexpensive paper shredder available at most office supply stores, or take your documents to a business that specializes in destroying sensitive papers. It’s an added effort, but doing so can help avoid a lot of headaches associated with identity theft.



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