HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Protect yourself from identity thieves. WDAM recently told you about personal documents being dumped behind a Hattiesburg business. Now, Hattiesburg Police are warning you, protect yourself and your identity, or it could cost you thousands of dollars.
"Disposing of financial documents properly," said Detective Gareth Wood of Hattiesburg Police Financial Crimes Investigations.
This advice could save you from being a victim to identity theft. Recently, hundreds of documents were found littered behind a Hattiesburg business, all containing sensitive information. Wood said if criminals were to get their hands on this confidential data, it could be detrimental.
"Somebody could open up credit cards in your name," Wood said. "Someone could actually purchase a vehicle or start paperwork to purchase a house or anything like that."
Detective Wood said another way criminals are accessing your information is by committing auto burglaries.
"For example, where somebody leaves their purse or wallet in the vehicle," Wood said. "A lot of people leave a lot of personal information in those things."
The solution is simple: safely dispose of your personal documents. The Better Business Bureau of Mississippi stressed that it is crucial to shred all personal documents before throwing them in the trash.