Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

  • Calendar

    October 2020
    S M T W T F S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Recent Posts

  • Tag Cloud

  • Archives

Think you don’t need a shredder?

Posted by Richard on March 15, 2006

So, how paranoid about identity theft are you? Do you have a paper shredder? Do you use it religiously? If your answers are "not very," "no," and "obviously not, dummy," then you’d better go to Cockeyed.com and read Rob’s story of The Torn-Up Credit Card Application:

I get a heck of a lot of credit card applications in the mail.
A bunch for Visa, quite a few from Mastercard and tons of them from American Express.

I almost always tear them in half and throw them away.

Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly paranoid, I’ll tear them into little bitty pieces.

Is that good enough? Could a determined and dexterous criminal gather all the bits, tape them together and apply for a card in my name? Would a credit card company balk when confronted with an obviously resurrected application?

A test was in order, and when the latest application arrived from Chase Mastercard, I was equal to the task.

Go read it, really. It’ll only take a minute; it’s 4 pages, but each is just a few short sentences and some nice pictures illustrating the task. Fascinating.

Here’s the bottom line: After tearing the application into about 15-20 pieces, Rob taped them back together, filled it out, changed the pre-printed address and phone number, and sent it in. Chase sent him a credit card. At the new address he provided. And let him activate it with the cell phone number he’d provided.

Heck, someone who doesn’t have a (throwaway) cell phone could probably send them a pay phone number and use that.

Those of you who already have and use a shredder are probably feeling smugly self-satisfied now. As for the rest of you — well, this link should help.

Subscribe To Site:

One Response to “Think you don’t need a shredder?”

  1. Jan from Denver said

    My word! What kind of company would honor that application. I use a shredder but it seems like those shredded pieces might be easier to put together. Burn them? Shredd and throw away with kitty litter?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.