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Thread: Stolen Trash

  1. #1

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    Default Stolen Trash

    So I wake up this morning, brew up some coffee and step out onto the porch to see what the weather's going to be like. I look down at the road, and then look again. my trash can is still there, but the 2 extra bags of trash that were laying beside it are now gone......

    My first thought, who the hell steals someone's trash? And then visions of identity theft danced through my head.

    Anyone had this happen before? Any recommendations for preventative measures against identity theft? Has anyone tried any of the companies that "protect" you for a monthly fee? I've seen commercials with that guy riding around NYC with his SSN on the side of a big truck, and it seemed convincing from that stand point.

    Damn, this is an annoying way to start the day. I guess priority #1 is to go get a shredder after work today :(
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    Its BIG Brother watching you. I now shred all my mail I trash. Bills, junk mail and anything with my name on it.

    Chuck

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    Did you have anything that could be used as identity theft in there? (Old credit cards, bank correspondence, etc)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    I guess priority #1 is to go get a shredder after work today :(
    Easiest way right there. The best is not to get the mail at all. There is a way that you can send in a letter or form somewhere to help you opt out of all that junk mail that you get. I'll see if I can find it.
    I know just enough to be dangerous, but don't tell my wife, she thinks I'm a genius. :D

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    stereo: I doubt big brother cares what goes on in the hills of NC :)

    nms: I don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure. Most of my banking/bill pay is done online now, so if anything I think there were just credit card offers and other junk mail. That being said, I have no idea what my girl threw away in those 2 bags...

    If anyone thinks there is specific, pre-emptive action I should be taking, by all means send the advice on.

    Thanks.
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    If anyone thinks there is specific, pre-emptive action I should be taking, by all means send the advice on.
    Call your CC companies and tell them to be alert for any strange purchases? I dunno, what else do identity thieves steal these days?
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    Why is it 'identity theft', isn't it just plain old fraud?

    I burn everything to do with anything financial around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN View Post
    Why is it 'identity theft', isn't it just plain old fraud?

    I burn everything to do with anything financial around here.
    Whatever the wording, I don't want some jobless joker to end up with a high limit visa in my name because he was low enough to dig through my trash...

    I guess thats the 1st thing I'll do nms.

    Could be much ado about nothing, but I'd rather be safe than sorry, if at all possible.
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    A cheap document shreader works very well. Anything that has anything that could be used is shreaded before it goes in the trash...AND...we take our trash directly to the trash collection center and don't use the trash collection subscription service in our area.
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    At the very least keep an eye on your credit report.

    And talk to shack. :)
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    Does checking your credit every so often lower your credit score?

    I'm also a little wearry of identity theft. Too much crap around my office that other people have access to, and I somehow lost a birth certificate from my office or apartment in the past 2 years which has me a bit concerned.

    Do you just call equifax / etc. and have them run it for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyGwis View Post
    Does checking your credit every so often lower your credit score?

    I'm also a little wearry of identity theft. Too much crap around my office that other people have access to, and I somehow lost a birth certificate from my office or apartment in the past 2 years which has me a bit concerned.

    Do you just call equifax / etc. and have them run it for you?
    No. Sometimes it can actually help.

    You can get all 3 reports once a year for free at annualcreditreport.com

    http://www.ftc.gov/freereports

    Lots of credit card companies as well as the 3 credit bureaus have services that let you pull your reports for a small monthly fee. I can pull mine once a day for $9.99 a month through American Express.

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    you can get the shredder and be careful as hell and still have your identity stolen so I wouldnt lose sleep over the missing garbage.

    I run my credit bureaus periodically, its the best way to cover yourself. something popes up you dont recognize, its still a PITA, but at least your catching it early, making it a far less PITA then catching it late.

    I do the credit monitoring on Freecreditreport as wel, they notify me of any changes on my bureaus
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    There is a "hard" credit report and a "soft" credit report. The hard is when you apply for a loan or an existing creditor pulls your credit to update files, etc. It "counts" against your score. The soft is when you check or someone wanting to solicit loans pulls credit. It doesn't hurt you.
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    If you are really worried about identity theft you can request a fraud alert with all three credit agencies. Basically what it does is require them to contact you if someone actually tries to use your SSN to apply for any type of credit where someone pulls a, as shack put it "hard," credit report. You just have to make sure that it is a good phone number. I used my cell phone so that if I needed to apply for a loan, and they called to verify, I would have the phone on me. The service is free and if you have been the victim of identity theft or fraud, you are covered. It really isn't all that inconvenient and just adds a lot of security.
    I know just enough to be dangerous, but don't tell my wife, she thinks I'm a genius. :D

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    Great, thanks for the good insight guys. Sounds like my 1st stop is a shredder, and then a couple of calls to my cc company and bank. I'll have to call for the fraud alert as well, thanks edbert.
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    My experience with fraud was minor but still a PITA to deal with. They only opened up one credit card through Sam's Club and it was less than a thousand bucks, but still. Getting it cleared up wasn't easy both to verify I was not the one who signed for the card and to then get the bad reporting off my credit reports. Hopefully nothing will come of this, but even if they try, you can at least try to get a pre-emptive strike out there to nip it in the bud.
    I know just enough to be dangerous, but don't tell my wife, she thinks I'm a genius. :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    Great, thanks for the good insight guys. Sounds like my 1st stop is a shredder, and then a couple of calls to my cc company and bank. I'll have to call for the fraud alert as well, thanks edbert.
    make sure to get one with a high pages per shred count. mine won't shred entire envelopes with cc offers in them. only thing I don't like about mine is that.
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    Been shredding my personal paperwork before it goes in the trash even before there were dedicated shredders you could pick up at staples.

    It just always made sense to me to not have any of that type of information available ...now even more so with doing a lot of internet purchasing, and with each order you get a printed receipt with everything on it.
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    You can contact any one of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, or the other one) by phone and ask them to put a "fraud alert" on your credit history. If anyone tries to do anything requiring a credit check under your name, the fraud alert will require the bank/credit card company/what have you to contact you (the REAL you) to confirm the transaction. It's good for 3 months, IIRC.

    It's easy and free. Been there, done that.
    They'll try to sell you credit watch services. You're under no obligation to buy in, though.

    EDIT: oops, between the time I started this and finished, you already got this info! sorry.
    all the best,
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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted512 View Post
    make sure to get one with a high pages per shred count. mine won't shred entire envelopes with cc offers in them. only thing I don't like about mine is that.
    -cody
    yeah, I bought a cheapie one at Fry's for $40 a few years ago and the thing overheats after about 10 minutes of use. Wish I would have just invested in a better one, they can get really pricey too.

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    For credit monitoring, I would suggest a Credit Expert subscription, it can monitor activity on all three bureaus. Direct mail solicitations rarely, and really shouldn't contain what we refer to as PII (personally identifiable information) outside of the name and address. It's normally your financial and credit card statements someone is after. Dumpster diving for information, stealing trash in nicer neighborhoods, are all activities identity theft perps engage in. Normally you would have others in the neighborhood get their trash stolen also unless someone has specifically targeted you. And it might not be for identity theft? Not sure if personal property theft rings also do that type of thing?
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    Maybe you make a hellava Tuna salad samwich,and one of your neighbors was feeling lucky.

    I burn all my **** in the fireplace.

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    The same thing has been happening to my used cat litter but he's involved in espionage, pretending to be asleep all day my ass.
    Last edited by candyliquor35m; 02-20-2008 at 01:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by candyliquor35m View Post
    The same thing has been happening to my used cat litter but he's involved in espionage, pretending to be asleep all day my ass.
    No meds today, eh?
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    Could have been a homeless person who wanted to go through it , but didnt want to do it right in front of your house. Happened to me one time...they come at 330 to 4am ....I am up most of the night and myself and the dogs heard noises out front ( Front door usually open ) .

    I go out with bad intentions and ask him WTF are you doing. ? He was extremely polite and told me he only goes through the recycle bin to get stuff to sell to get money to eat...and that he promised not to leave any type of mess....I told him knock yourself out. So thats a possibility....
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    Interesting dkg, good feedback. We are in a country setting, and our neighborhood isn't exactly wealthy....maybe we stand out a bit because of that? Looks like we were the only ones. Dunno about the personal property side, but I work from home, so I "pity the fool" who tries to break in here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowofnight View Post
    Could have been a homeless person who wanted to go through it , but didnt want to do it right in front of your house. Happened to me one time...they come at 330 to 4am ....I am up most of the night and myself and the dogs heard noises out front ( Front door usually open ) .

    I go out with bad intentions and ask him WTF are you doing. ? He was extremely polite and told me he only goes through the recycle bin to get stuff to sell to get money to eat...and that he promised not to leave any type of mess....I told him knock yourself out. So thats a possibility....
    Wow, you guys are spot on. My girl came home on her lunch break saying the exact same thing. Apparently there are a few homeless folks that stake out a few miles from here, and a guy she works with threw that out as a theory. I hope that's it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    Wow, you guys are spot on. My girl came home on her lunch break saying the exact same thing. Apparently there are a few homeless folks that stake out a few miles from here, and a guy she works with threw that out as a theory. I hope that's it...

    Haha...they are extremely territorial too...we had an article in the local paper about a fight in the wee hours of the morning...2 rival bums met at one garbage can and both claimed he worked that territory...a bum fight ensued :D It was somewhere else in town...I talk to my guy and its him and his wife. I didnt know a shopping cart had such a load capacity....
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    Quote Originally Posted by jflail2 View Post
    Has anyone tried any of the companies that "protect" you for a monthly fee? I've seen commercials with that guy riding around NYC with his SSN on the side of a big truck, and it seemed convincing from that stand point.
    Be careful with these kinds of companies. They seem to be a rip-off. Most do nothing more than contact the credit agencies once every 3 months to red flag your reports -- something you can do for free.

    Lifelock advertises like that. Read here for a lengthy article about the company and guy who started it. Doesn't sound too good.

    Also from Techdirt:
    LifeLock, a company that sells some identity theft protection services that consumers could get for free, got some bad press last month. Not only did it come out that one of the company's founders had allegedly stolen personal information from customers of another business he owned, it was also disclosed that LifeLock's services failed to protect the company's CEO from identity theft. A man in the Dallas area used the CEO's social security number -- which is prominently displayed in LifeLock's marketing materials -- to obtain a $500 loan, and police were waiting to get some subpoenaed information when the CEO took things into his own hands. He showed up at the fraudster's house with a film crew, and apparently coerced a confession out of the guy, who police say is mentally disabled. The confession is legally worthless, and police and prosecutors say it's tainted the case, so they're not going to proceed with their investigation, and have no plans to arrest the suspect. So, it would appear, that not only do LifeLock's anti-identity theft measures not work, the company also manages to bungle the prosecution of identity thieves.

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