Tuesday May 3

We've recommended using a shredder at least, oh, a bazillion times (as a note, our consultant Frank Abagnale, recommends using a micro-cut shredder, like the ones you can find at Staples, OfficeMax, Walmart or any other number of places). And, for a majority of those times, we’ve said you should do so with any important documents you're getting rid of, as well as anything that has your address on it.

It seems like most people understand why shredding a document with information such as a credit card number of social security number is important, but many wonder why they need to shred junk mail.

The answer is actually pretty easy:

Identity thieves can strike while only having your name and address.

In one somewhat common underground scam, thieves will file a change of address form, moving all of your mail to a new address. Once this is completed, all important mail, including your credit card statements (which *do* have important account information on them) can be sent to a thief directly. At that point, a thief can take over pretty much whichever account they please.

Sounds too simple to be true, right?

Well, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, changing the physical address was the most common type of account takeover method in 2010

So remember, shredding each and every document that comes into your home with any personally identifiable information is important. Also, remember, the post office will send a change of address confirmation to both the former and "new addresses." If you see this form come to you, and you believe it is in error, contact the post office immediately.

And you can help us out by taking steps to become your own identity theft protector.

Posted by Mike