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Dumpster Diving

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Digging in the trash for credit card receipts, personal checks, or bank statements to commit fraud has spread across the Atlantic. The British are now dealing with a major problem they call “Bin Raiding,” the same naughty practice that Yanks call “Dumpster Diving.” A new study by the major consumer credit reporting firm Experian, found on average, one in every five bins in the United Kingdom contains a whole credit or debit card number linked to an individual name and 80% of these have an associated expiration date. Only 14% of UK household rubbish bins contain absolutely no information of interest to fraudsters. Almost three quarters of bins contain the full name and full address of at least one household member. Bank account details are regularly found in bins and, on average, one in every five bins contains a bank account number and sort code that could be related to the full name and address of a household member. In a second survey commissioned by Experian to find out how widespread the problem of bin raiding is, it was revealed that 75% of local authorities admit that bin raiding is regularly taking place in their area and, of these, 80% that the problem is getting worse. Regardless of where you live, protect your identity by shredding any documents that contain personal information, especially account numbers, social security numbers, etc.

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