Document Scanning vs. Identity Theft

You receive an email from an address that seems like a legitimate company, offering you a pair of free cruise tickets to the tropics. All that you have to do is provide them with a little personal information in order to prove to them that you are, in fact, the person who was selected to win this little prize. Fast-forward to tomorrow, and suddenly you have overdrawn your bank account and can no longer even access it! That “legitimate” company was a fraud and now someone else is claiming to be you.

Scary, right? Now, let’s try a different scenario. You come home and check your mail. Wasn’t that bank statement and credit card bill supposed to be coming in soon? Maybe it will get here in the next day or two, you think to yourself. Instead, some random person was walking down the street behind the mail truck and searching for sensitive personal information. You never even saw it happen, or were aware of it happening until one day when you get an overdraft statement in the mail. Suddenly it clicks that those bank statements were not just late, they were stolen!

Now take a second and ask yourself, which scenario seems more likely to fool you? The free tickets you won from a contest you didn’t enter, or the mail that seemed a little late? People often hear stories about someone’s identity getting stolen over the internet by giving out their personal information, but this virtual identity theft is far less commonplace than physical identity theft. By going paperless, people can easily nip this kind of theft in the bud. In fact, you may be on the road to going paperless already and not even know it.

It is so much easier to check bank statements and even pay our bills online that we frequently use the paper statements we receive in the mail as nothing more than a reminder. After the reminder is noted, the statement just becomes another piece of mail in the pile. More junk and clutter. Most places that offer online bill-payment will provide the option to go paperless and receive your statements via email, making the transition as effortless as a few clicks.

Can’t go paperless because you have too many physical documents and no way to get them onto your computer? All you need to do is pay your local document imaging location a visit and they can scan it all for you quickly, cleanly, and effortlessly (at least for you). If the paper copies of your documents are still worrying you, they can usually shred them for you while they are at it too. Going paperless is relatively easy in this information age, and it is probably safer to have your personal information hidden away behind passwords and firewalls than sitting in your mailbox every day too.