Remove Magazine Labels
Identity fraud can occur if we fail to properly remove address labels which contain personal information from the publications we receive in the mail either as a result of our subscriptions or unwanted mail order catalogues and marketing offers. As you will find out, these printed information provide some personal information which individually or collectively with other information may be stolen and used to achieve a fraudulent objective. I personally receive many magazines that are related to my career; either because I subscribe to them or the membership groups and clubs I belong to send me their periodic magazines or newsletters. Many professionals also subscribe to and freely share these publications with others at their office as a service to their customers.
At home, we also receive many mail order catalogues and pre-approved offers with pre-printed names and addresses. I guess they do that to make our jobs easier when responding to that special offer without any regard for potential identity theft. Curiously enough, some of those special offers happen to be credit card offers too. Pre-printing names and addresses only make the identity thieves’ jobs easier. These labels provide important information about your identity. I would even suggest that the nature and types of the magazines you receive provide clues on your identity in ways that you never thought about. For example, if you belong to an organization and you receive their monthly magazine or newsletter with pre printed personal information and inserts, an identity thief can deduct the following conclusions:
1-Which organization you belong and locate its address, nature and type of organization, dues, required experience to join, genders allowed, its affiliations, web site, and contact info.
2-The organizations nature can in turn provide clues about you, your personality, habits, interests, and more. Personality, traits and habits play a big role in pretexting methods used in phishing and vishing scams.
3-Your credit worthiness can also be estimated based on your interests, subscriptions and organization dues.
4-Add your name and address to this picture and thieves have a good starting point if they have big plans and the means to execute them.
The question I now have is what do we normally do with these publications besides reading them? We either throw them away right away or after we browse through them for a few days, or leave them on our desks in our offices and homes. Sometimes, we share them with friends or colleagues or place them on a desk or table at work or another public area like doctor’s office to share with others. When and before you do that, remove and discard all personal information for your own identity safety. Also, remove and properly discard all magazine inserts which may have your name and address pre printed on them. These are simple awareness points that can inflict some pain if they are not taken care of immediately and properly by shredding the printed personal information instead of simply tearing and discarding them.
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