Old Tax Forms Found in Open Dumpster
Multiple old tax returns, having personal information, including Social Security numbers, were found inside a Fremont dumpster.
The paper government forms were inside the open dumpster for a few days, as indicated by witnesses, and they all contained personal information for anybody to effortlessly take.
The dumpster is situated in a parking garage off Grimmer Boulevard in Fremont, where a close-by affirmed CPA practices,
"It's disturbing," said Robert Petesch, a Newark occupant whose documents were inside the dumpster. "I thought it would have been destroyed. Our names, our Social Security number, my employer, money related information. This is a major breach of my personal security."
The tax forms were prepared by Ed Robinson, a nearby CPA. When he was questioned about the matter, Robinson said he didn't know they should have been shredded.
"I thought they would take it and burn it," he said. "I shouldn't have done it. I'm sorry."
A couple of hours after the fact, Robinson, who is resigning, put a bolt on the dumpster. In the meantime, one of his customers was so worried about the reports that he brought matters into his own hands, he contacted an organization to have them pick up the records and shred them.
Petesch was alleviated to have his old tax forms in his hands. "I will shred this," he said.
Robinson told his customer he will pay for the shredding.
The California Society of CPAs asks all duty preparers to shred any tax forms they are not keeping.
To learn more about how Mobile Record Shredders can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.
Shoppers Beware of the Amazon.com scam this Christmas Season
Are you doing your Christmas shopping online this year? And are you doing it through the ever-popular website Amazon.com? Then you need to be aware of this scam going on this holiday season.
There will be an email sent to the customer from the scammer that appears to be from Amazon.com, it will say that an order made previously cannot be shipped. The email states that there was an issue with the order and tells them that they cannot access their account or order anything else with Amazon until they verify their personal information.
Inside of the email is a "click here" link that takes the customer to an authentic-looking Amazon web page to verify their name, address and credit card information for their account. Once the information has been entered and the customer hits the "save and continue" button, they will be rerouted to the actual Amazon website.
Which then leads to the question... how do you know if an Amazon email is real or fake?
In the subject line of the scam email, it will say, "Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped." The "from" line in the email will show an Internet Service Provider other than @amazon.com, then you will know it is not from Amazon.
You should never click on the link of an email like this from Amazon or any other online retailer.
Officials said that if a customer recently ordered from Amazon and feels concerned about missing an authentic email from Amazon, they should log into Amazon.com and check under "Your Orders" to see if the email’s details match any of the order information. If the information doesn’t match, then the email is a scam.
Identity Theft – Don’t Fall Victim
Identity Theft is more common than you think. And unfortunately, until it happens to you, you will never know the extent of damage it can cause. But luckily, it is easier than you think to protect yourself from falling victim to this horrible crime.
Proper disposal of your documents is the easiest and most affordable way to protect yourself. By hiring a shredding company to dispose of your documents, it is easier than you think to keep your documents safe.
All paperwork that has personal information, such as tax documents, bank statements, credit card offers and more can be shred and destroyed. At Mobile Record Shredders you can choose how often you have your documents shred and what needs to be shred. You don’t need to remove all of the staples and it is much more time efficient and cost-effective than doing it yourself.
To learn more about how Mobile Record Shredders can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.
Why Hire a Shredding Service?
For businesses, shredding documents has become part of the normal routine. Shredding allows you to keep important documents confidential and abide by strict US Government rules and procedures that mandate documents are properly destroyed and to eliminate the opportunity of identity theft.
As a business grows, it increases the number of confidential documents that need to be disposed of in order to keep your employee and customer information safe. Shredding in-house can take too much time and resources to properly destroy documents. By hiring a shredding service, you are creating a cost-effective solution to the burden of shredding.
Rather than going through the expensive and time-consuming process of owning and maintaining your shredding equipment, a shredding service uses it’s own equipment and eliminates the time and effort taken to shred materials under your supervision. Plus, shredding services are affordable. Whether it’s having us pick up your documents or bringing them to one of our shredding facilities, the cost and time associated with using our services far outweigh that of doing it in-house.
Dozens of Medical Records Found in Dumpster
Piles of health documents were tossed in a public dumpster for anyone to get their hands on and the Connecticut Country Branch of health is investigating.
Multiple stacks of health information had been discovered buried in a dumpster in the back of Allied Medical Associates in Waterbury on Tuesday. The documents contain private and sensitive health information.
“I’m afraid that my medical information may be there and that’s not a good thing,” Yasmeen Burgos, of Waterbury, told NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.
Burgos was treated by Allied Medical Associates’ primary medical doctor Dr. Stephen P. Harris a couple years ago and is concerned her records could be compromised.
Harris informed NBC Connecticut that the clinical office closed down two days after Christmas because the bills were not paid.
“I can’t treat my patients and also stand over people watching what’s going on, so suddenly, I found out we have been deeply in debt due to the fact that a lot of bills hadn’t been paid,” Harris said.
A note on the front door of Allied Medical Associates said the office is permanently closed and for patients to contact their legal attorney.
A state health worker showed up a short time after the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters to analyze the information inside the Waterbury dumpster on Tuesday.
Harris revealed to the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that his house and car have been packed with patient information saved from his practice; however, he admits the others that were discovered in the dumpster had been approved to go in the garbage.
“There have been containers of files that were categorized or I thought categorized 2010 and there’s only a seven-year duration you need to keep the documents, so we placed them in the dumpster. I’m liable for it; I have talked to the state. We’re going to retrieve those ones and shred them but it was not deliberate- it was a terrible choice, however, it was a decision made because we had so little time to get out,” Harris said.
NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters asked Harris why the files weren’t destroyed the first time.
“I understand they needed to be shredded, however, I felt that you know, once the dumpster people got here and placed them in a dump covered up and chewed them up, there wouldn’t be anybody crawling through there to get those,” Harris said. “We had our own shredder and it takes forever to shred those and we didn’t have time to do it.”
State health officers secured the information on Tuesday afternoon. They said they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, but they supplied NBC Connecticut an outline of the state’s law regarding medical records.
According to state statute 19a-14-44 Discontinuance of Practice, patients must be informed.
“This must be done by placing a notice in a daily local newspaper published in the community, which is the prime focus of the practice. The notice shall appear twice, seven days apart. In addition, an individual letter is to be sent to each patient seen within the three years preceding the date of discontinuance of the practice. Medical records of all patients must be retained for at least sixty days following both the public and private notice to patients,” the law reads in part.
Read the full article here.
Throwing Junk Mail Away - "Not a good idea"
Believe it or not, the crazy amounts of junk mail that you get at home contains a lot of personal information that identity thieves can undoubtedly get their hands on.
With simply your name and address, fraudsters can discover ways to get other secret information, for example, your financial information and social security number that could enable them to exploit your character and take your funds.
Shockingly, the amount of wholesale fraud episodes is expanding every year with a record number of 15.4 million casualties in 2016. Crooks can open up advances, Mastercards, and financial balances under your name which takes your cash as well as ruins your credit score.
This sort of circumstance frequently occurs without the casualty's learning until the point when they attempt to open up a different credit extension, however, at that point, it is past the point of no return.
Shredding documents can dispose of a noteworthy outlet that hoodlums use to increase classified data. Any documents that have individual information ought to be appropriately destroyed and discarded.
Destroying Documents to Prevent Identity Theft
To abstain from turning into the following casualty, it is critical to appropriately pulverize any reports containing individual data that you never again require.
So before disposing of old paperwork, make sure to shred the following documents as well:
Tax documents older than 7 years
Credit and Bank account statements
Any other documents containing sensitive information, for example, your name, address, telephone number, birth date, social security number, money related data, children's personal information, and so forth.
Remember to shred any old electronics when discarding them. A programmer could get this data unless the gadget is satisfactorily destroyed.
Contact Mobile Record Shredders for Your Home Shredding Needs Today!
Recuperating from fraud can be exorbitant and tedious. Try not to enable a criminal to exploit your character and your security, time, and cash. Regardless of whether you have a small amount or have been amassing heaps of old paperwork for a considerable length of time, Mobile Record Shredders can get you associated with a shredding specialist right in your area.
Avoid Identity Theft - Hire Shredding Professionals
Identity theft is an extremely scary crime and continues to grow in popularity among thieves. It not only robs its victims their credit information but can rob you of your name. As scary as it is, it is easier to protect yourself than you think - Shred!
All paperwork that has personal information, whether it is personal bank statements or HR specific documents, documents of a certain age or confidentiality level should be shredded. You can choose how often a professional shredding service is needed and can be as little as yearly, or as much as daily shredding. Our service is available, as you need it. Any documents with identifying data, including CDs, zip drives, computer hard drives and more should be properly disposed of. At Mobile Record Shredders we offer electronic document destruction services as well.
The safest, easiest and more often times than not, most affordable way to protect yourself from having your identity stolen, is through shredding your documents. By hiring a confidential shredding company, it can be easy to dispose of the documents identity thieves are looking for when preying on their victims. The task of shredding documents on your own can be cumbersome and time consuming, but hiring a confidential shredding service is a great alternative for both businesses and individuals alike.
Contact us today to help with your shredding needs!
Tax time is often a time when identity thieves are preying. Your tax returns, new and old, have confidential information on them that could be used against you by identity thieves. Make sure to keep your documents safe and out of harm's way.
Identity thieves are lurking and only need your Social Security number and birth date to file a tax return in your name. With these key pieces of information, they can falsify additional information requested on the return and wrongly receive money that belongs to you. The IRS does not check the validity of each tax request and because of this, your tax return money could easily be on its way to an identity thief pretending to be you.
Follow the key tips below to help keep you and your tax documents safe, this tax season.
Get your taxes in early! File early to stay ahead of identity thieves
Organize your financial records to help prepare to file your tax returns and keep track of what information you have (or what could be lost or stolen)
Properly dispose of old records and tax documents
Keep confidential information confidential
File your returns with care and if possible electronically on your personal computer, rather than a public computer
Let Mobile Record Shredders keep your documents safe this tax season. Contact us for more information.
New Identity Theft Bill Would Limit the Use of Social Security Numbers
We know the harms of identity theft and the harm it can cause to your life if your social security number is exposed. But according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a new bill was introduced to the senate to reduce the threat.
“The Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act of 2015, introduced this past March by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, includes some dramatic steps that are designed to minimize the threat to consumers. One of the very first items that can help protect individuals from losing their information in data breaches (either intentional or accidental) is to limit the uses of the Social Security number, specifically in the healthcare system.
Use of the SSN as a convenient means of identifying people in large systems of records has increased over the years and its expanded use appears to be an enduring trend… Generally, there are no restrictions in federal law precluding the use of the SSN by the private sector, so businesses may ask individuals for an SSN whenever they wish (Streckewald 2006),” explained Puckett in a document for the Social Security Administration.
While it’s not illegal for an agency or a place of business to request your Social Security number, it’s also not required that you provide it. You don’t have any legal recourse, though, if a business like a doctor’s office refuses to treat you if you don’t provide it. What is more unfortunate about the use of SSNs as an identifier is the fact that many places will request it as standard procedure without even really knowing why they’re asking for it. It’s as if we’re so accustomed to handing it over on a form or during a registration process that we do it without even thinking about it.
The bill, which has garnered a lot of support from lawmakers, would eventually halt the practice of using your Social Security number in healthcare settings. This would be good news for consumers in that a number of hacking events and internal data breaches have occurred through healthcare and insurance offices, like the recent Anthem Healthcare breach. The bill would also increase the penalties for certain identity theft practices, like tax refund fraud or distributing stolen personal data. Finally, the bill does a lot to upgrade the current IRS practices of reporting and correcting tax refund fraud.”
Read the full article, and contact us for more information about steps you can take to stay out of harms way.