23 March 2008

Shred This

Won't you be my neighbor?

Recycling is important at the Bee house with trips made at least once a week to the community recycle area. I'm careful what I put in my paper recycling, as the flat I'm renting isn't in a bad neighborhood per say, but the recycling and garbage are in unsecured areas. I'm careful to shred what is sensitive and recycle what is not. I'm green AND safe which firmly secures my geek standing.

Recently, I found my new neighbors phone/internet bill on the ground outside the recycling bins. Included on the paper was the online security code, instructions on how to sign in online, her name and address, and account number.

Hasn't my neighbor heard of identity theft?

Even the most stupid of thieves can piece together an identity from recycle bins, matching names and other information as months pass. Victims are shocked to find their credit says $75000 in new credit card debt, they're wanted for check fraud in Arkansas, and they've purchased a 250K motor home in Arizona (now in collections).

Thieves aren't getting smarter, the majority of victims are getting stupider. I'm not making this up. Financial institutions to take a hit and I end up paying for someone else's stupidity by being nickle and dimed to death for bank services like using my own money and ink at the deposit table.

I did something to hopefully give my neighbor a little nudge in the right direction. This was solely a philanthropic endeavor to pull her out of her ignorance. I'm noble like that.

(but really, I think I might be going to office shredder hell)

When my neighbor got home later that day, she found my surprise on her door: paperwork, thought previously recycled, stuck in her door number with a notation across it in big black letters,

"Time to buy a shredder."

It may or may not have been in my handwriting.

If that wasn't fun enough, I noticed the very next day after greeting her with smile, she was unloading a Best Buy package from her trunk.

You guessed it: a brand new shredder.

~Bee is listening to bodacious shred music

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe