Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated that 8.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft. In recent reports they now estimate that as many as 10 million people in the United States fall victim to identity thieves each year, costing businesses $50 million in fraudulent charges and innocent victims $5 million just to repair their good names.
Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record. Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.
Businesses are entrusted with all types of confidential information, and each business needs to do their part to prevent identity theft by safeguarding this information.
Destroy your confidential documents in order to protect your employees, your clients or patients and yourself. Documents containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card and bank account numbers, etc. should be shredded when they are no longer needed. Remember if secure information has out lived its usefulness then they need to be destroyed or they can become a liability.
For more information on how to prevent Identity Theft go to the Federal Trade Commission web site.