Unshreded paperwork from Lawton business found lining fence - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Unshreded paperwork from Lawton business found lining fence

Lawton_Paperwork from a Lawton business with personal information from customers was found intact, not far from the business and its dumpster.  The documents from Stewart Title were discovered along a fence line by someone who lives in the neighborhood near the business, and were turned over to 7News.  7News turned the sensitive documents in to Lawton police to see what vital information was on the pages, and tracked down the business manager to determine how the security breach occurred.

The business handles home loans, and the manager says that they always shred their documents, and she's not sure how they ended up out of the dumpster on the street.  The police department says that a successful thief can use as little information as an individual's name and address to steal an identity.  While the area looked to be cleaned up on Monday afternoon, days ago a neighbor found many sensitive documents blowing out of a dumpster. 

Although most of the information in the documents was irrelevant, about four papers in the stack of about 30 had personal information on them.  The Lawton Police Department told 7News what the documents revealed.  "This here gives the account information, routing number, it also gives the bank and the account holder information," said Detective Brent Yarbrough.  There were pay stubs, contracts, loans, and other documents with transfer wire numbers.

Police advise that individuals and businesses shred or burn all sensitive documents in need of disposal rather than throwing them in the trash with legible information intact so that someone doesn't end up with a big pay day from your business or wallet. 

The office manager at the business says she will review procedures to determine where the mistake could have been made.  She says that while they have a shredder, it wasn't used this time.  Experts say to use checks to pay bills, rather than credit or debit cards which can provide a direct link to your account. 

Yarbrough says he has never seen a business cited for failing to take proper precautions in disposing such sensitive information, and does not know of any statute on the books that would hold a business responsible.  Police say that although they will investigate, the matter will probably end up in civil court if the business's negligence were to cause someone to have their identity stolen.

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