Recycle but destroy your details

Article dated Wednesday Nov 15, 2023 at 03:14 PM

Bradford Council is urging people to continue recycling, but at the same time to make sure they always destroy anything displaying personal information.

Identity theft has been found to be one of the fastest growing categories of fraud in the first half of 2023. Most of this is done by online scammers but identity theft also happens without technology.

An opportunist fraudster could simply find all they need in the contents of a recycling bin. Letters or packaging, whether from medicines, bank letters, receipts or parcels, displaying a person’s name, address or date of birth is all that is needed to start building a false identity and accessing a person’s money.

Bradford Council officers have heard stories from residents of such things happening, or people being seen trying to intercept mail or going through the contents of a recycling bin.

The best way to avoid this is to destroy anything displaying personal details. Names, addresses and dates of birth should be ripped up or shredded before items are recycled.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places, said: “We want people to continue to recycle, but please can everyone check items before they place them in their bins. Destroy anything containing personal details. Don’t leave anything to chance. We want our residents to stay safe and protect themselves from criminals.”

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