Documents with SSN, bank account information dumped in dumpster - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Documents with SSN, bank account information dumped in dumpster

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - Dozens of documents -- loaded with Social Security Numbers, bank information and more -- were simply left in a dumpster for anyone to take.

We tracked down the source of the document dump, the people affected, and what could be next.

When you fill out a financial agreement, you trust that information will remain between you and a very small and selective group of people. You don't, however, expect to get a call from a complete stranger who knows where you work, how much you make, and everything else needed to hi-jack your Identity.

Max Myers was walking home from the store when he noticed something strange sitting by a dumpster behind an abandoned restaurant and club. "I was like, 'Wow'! This should not be in there, so I took them and held on to them, and we called you," said Myers. "There's home addresses. There's phone numbers. There's Social Security Numbers, driver's license numbers, what they make a month, their bank accounts. Everything's on here."

Max and his friend, Betty Shell, knew they had thick stack of hot potatoes on their hands, but they didn't know where all these documents came from.

They say they called the sheriff's office, and then started calling the people listed on the documents.

"When she first called me, I thought it was a joke," said Chantaye Williams.

That was until Williams heard Betty Shell recite her Social Security Number, bank account number and other sensitive information.

Williams says she then thought she was reliving a nightmare from her past. "Somebody completely took my whole ID about six years ago. I mean, that's frustrating because you put your information into somebody else's hands, and they are just thrown into a dumpster like you mean nothing," Williams said.

After taking a closer look at the stack of documents with Williams, we were able to track down the source to a used car lot in Delray Beach.

Big Bob's Cars is where she co-signed for a loan so her brother could buy a car. "I don't blame her at all. I'm very upset myself. I don't know how. I don't know what I can say to her. I'm glad she got her stuff back, and no one was able to use it," said Robert Ross, owner of Big Bob's Cars.

Ross says, he thinks, a fired employee took the documents, but he also takes responsibility for not making sure they were shredded. "I'm going to make sure nothing gets bagged until it's shredded," he said.

But that does little to comfort Chantaye Williams who now has to worry about who else has seen some of her most personal information. "I would never give just anybody that information -- ever."

The Federal Trade Commission does make companies take reasonable steps to make sure any kind of credit application or any financial information that's collected is properly destroyed, but it's not clear right now what will happened here.

You can always ask a business to check on their shredding or destruction policies if you are concerned about your personal information.

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