All they need is access to your old mail, credit cards, and debit cards. "Bank statements, credit card statements and other documents that contain your personal information should never be disposed of in an insecure manner," says Debbie Guild, chief security officer at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.
Is It Safe to Dispose of Bank Statements? NO, you should shred sensitive documents instead of throwing them away, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Sensitive documents can range anywhere from bank statements all through credit and debit cards.
Use a shredder.
This is the standard, and most popular, option for destroying old bank statements. A good shredder can completely obliterate any information, so you can safely put the documents into a trash can. Once everything has been shredded, you want to dispose of it over a few separate occasions.
Because of the risk of fraud, you should be careful about how you throw away credit card statements you no longer need. Simply tossing them in the trash is unsafe because it leaves too much of your personal information exposed; they need to be completely destroyed.
Generally, when calculating the interest accrued over the years, the bank or building society will treat it as if it had been active. To trace an old bank go to your local library and look in the Bankers' Almanac.
Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.
You need to contact the bank and ask. Banks do keep records typically going back 7 years, though bank policies vary.. Twenty years back would be unusual. Statements are kept digitally or on microfilm or microfiche, with the latter forms taking longer to retrieve.
These programs mandate that banks obtain and retain checking and savings account customer data, including contact, identification and tax information. FDIC regulations stipulate that banks must keep this information for five years after the account is closed.
Destroy paper documents permanently and securely
Shredding is a common way to destroy paper documents and is usually quick, easy and cost-effective. Many retailers sell shredders for use within your office or premises, enabling you to shred and dispose of the documents yourself.
With shredding services available at The UPS Store locations nationwide, you can get rid of your personal and business documents using one of the leading document destruction vendors, Iron Mountain®. Shred your items to help protect yourself and your business from identity theft.
The account holders should personally visit the branch to carry out the closure. The bank may ask for unused cheque books and cards to be deposited along with the form. These documents and cards will be destroyed by the bank. Banks don't charge for closure within 14 days of opening of an account.
If there's no way you can sell or give away your books, contact your local council or recycling centre and ask if they can do anything to help recycle your books. Don't throw them in your recycling bin; they need a specialist recycler to look at them to judge whether they're recyclable.
Experts warn that the only receipts that are safe to throw away are those which contain no personal information whatsoever, such as a grocery or coffee shop receipt. ... Receipts containing your name, address, and/or phone number. Receipts with a truncated credit card or Social Security number.
The most important reason to get a paper shredding machine for personal or office use is to avoid identity theft. You can never be too safe when it comes to your personal information. ... We recommend shredding every paper you want to dispose of, which contains personal information. This can also be junk mail.
Tax-related expenses are a very important reason to keep credit card statements for longer than 60 days. This might be especially helpful for those using business credit cards. The IRS retains the right to audit anyone's financial history for up to six years.
Expired credit and identification cards including driver's licenses, college IDs, military IDs, employee badges, medical insurance cards, etc. (If your shredder can't handle plastic, cut up cards with a scissors before discarding them.) Expired passports and visas.
Credit card statements and utility bills are documents that should be high on anyone's list for shredding. Bills of that nature tend to have very sensitive information. So once payment is confirmed and you no longer need to reference that bill, make sure the document is destroyed.
Hold the returns and supporting documents for at least seven years. The IRS can randomly audit you three years after you file — or six years afterward if it thinks you skipped out on reporting your income by at least 25%.
Pour in ½ Gallon (2L) of bleach.
Bleach is going to help break down the paper. Commonly used in the recycling of used paper, it will also destroy the colorants of ink. This will guarantee a more complete destruction of any secure information in your documents.