All the paperwork, including a HUD 1 form if you bought or sold a home in 2015, is stacked, sorted, and sifted in order to get all the info you need to fill out a variety of tax forms. If you’re like most people, while sorting through the stacks, you start tossing unneeded documents into the trash. And when bits and pieces of confidential information end up in your trash the opportunity for identity theft begins.
This includes shredding receipts, credit card applications and offers, insurance forms, medical information, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, investment statements, and any similar documents when you don’t need them any longer. Don’t own a shredder? Our area offers several locations where you can shred documents containing private information for a small fee or watch for local shredding events in your sponsored by local businesses. Personally, the timing was great and a local bank offered drive-up shredding on a Saturday and I was holding several large trash bags full of documents from my parent’s home. Drove in and the volunteers emptied my trunk and I drove off as the paper hit the shredder in the back of the truck. Some organizations hold shredding days as a fundraiser and for a small donation, your documents are no longer a target for identity thieves.
Many real estate companies have started using secure “platforms” to hold client’s personal information and provide buyers and sellers with secure access via portals. The systems are sometimes difficult to navigate-but security is better for all the parties involved in a real estate deal if the data is not just sent via email attachments for sitting some fax machine in the middle of an office.