Personal Information Left in Junked Cars Offers Fertile Ground for Identity Thieves

The cars totaled in accidents and then towed to junk lots often contain all the information any identity theft needs to steal an individual’s personal information. Junked cars often include legal documents, envelopes with names and addresses, and even Social Security numbers. Debit cards are sometimes found in the remains of crashed automobiles.

Investigators have found prescriptions for various drugs, including birth control and steroids, and these prescriptions are linked to the prescribing physician who has a file with considerable personal information about the patient; identity thieves can make fraudulent use of the data to commit medical identity crime.

Personal documents are often found in a car’s glove box, but they can also be discovered on the floor boards or in the middle console. People forget what they have in their cars, which could put their identities at risk. Experts recommend against using an automobile as a personal filing cabinet or medicine chest and to be aware that any documents left in a car may become the property of identity thieves.

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