Shred event encourages public to safely dispose of sensitive documents
COLUMBIA - At locations across the country, including one in mid-Missouri, tax filing company H&R Block offered people the chance to dispose of sensitive documents safely.
"It's important to shred them so they can't get the important numbers, the names, the addresses, things like that," H&R Office Manager Herb Leon said.
According to Leon, with just a little bit of information, thieves can steal your identity.
"All they need is your name, your social security number, and possibly your date of birth and that's it," he said.
Leon said it is important to properly dispose of documents that contain identifiable information because thieves are always finding new ways to try and obtain it.
"Not only are the scammers and thieves looking at high tech ways, but they are also looking at low tech ways at getting information, and one of the frequent ways is to go dumpster diving," he said. "They get your name, your social security number, or they get your address, sometimes you get credit card numbers. That can lead to a fraudulent tax return being filed."
However, there are some documents that you should hold on to. They are:
- Copies of any tax forms you file
- Income statements
- Bank statements
- Property tax statements
"Typically, they should keep documents like these for three years," he said. "That is when the IRS can review the return and ask them for substantiation."