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Odds are, you know someone who’s been a victim of identity theft.
According to the Bureau of Justice, close to 18 million people experienced some form of the crime just last year.
That’s five times more than the entire population of Louisiana.
Almost all of the victims say someone tried to use an existing bank account. About half had someone use their credit cards without their approval. And nine out of ten people say the culprit, is a total stranger.
These crooks use any means to get a hold of your personal information, but could you be handing it over without even knowing it?
You’ll be surprised with what we uncovered, just like the viewers we surprised right at their own front doors.
There’s an old saying, that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And if you’re an identity thief, a junkyard could be a gold mine.
We took our cell phones and went to a scrap yard right here in Acadiana…and what we found was startling.
Just take a look at some of the things that we’ve found. We’ve got banking information; we’ve got what bank this person goes to, including their name. And we have their accounting and routing information.
All seems like stuff you wouldn’t want to throw away.
Social Security numbers, car titles, names, addresses, and phone numbers all left behind.
So, we took that information and brought it right to Monte Roy’s doorstep.
Roy has been delivering nuclear medicine to hospitals in the area for close to 30 years.
We found his name and address in one of the dozens of totaled cars we looked through.
He says a coworker had an accident in a company vehicle, leaving behind records for both employees and patients.
We asked Roy to verify the numbers we discovered.
He says, “This is a list of our employees. All of our employees.”
And out of all the things we dug up, this was the most shocking. A list of all the security codes to the doors of all the major hospitals in Acadiana.
Roy says the list, “Was probably laying in the seat.”
In the seat, glove compartments, even in the trunk.
While the material things might have been recovered, all too often we found the most valuable of possessions left behind, was your information.
“When we drive we leave stuff sitting in the seat. Papers and things like that. We get out we have to do certain procedures. I’ve got to tell them about this I can’t wait until tomorrow,” says Roy, who told us he was going to his boss to inform him of the information left at that scrap yard.
And Roy, just like everyone else we spoke to about having access to their private lives, all had the same response, and the same question.
“There’s a lot of crooks out there. A lot of em. Don’t like to work. Like to use somebody else’s money. What would I do about it?”
We did reach out to the people whose information we found, letting them know where it was so they could take back their forgotten belongings.