How to Prevent Fraud: Financial Documents

Fraud is everywhere, leading to more digital documentation and less documented on paper. As convenient as this is, there are still some documentation that we receive in the mail or at work that has our personal data on it but we think nothing of it. This personal data could be essential to our identity, which is why we need to protect it. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in America, 12% of people are a victim of Bank fraud and in Missouri alone, 820,000 of the population were a victim to identity theft.

Top Financial Documents to Destroy to Prevent Fraud

To commit fraud, a hacker or identity thief would only need your name, DOB, phone number and/or address. With that information alone they can create new credit cards, a new identity, file fraudulent tax returns and more. To protect your financial status and prevent fraud, here are the top financial documents to destroy.

1. Bank Statements and Pay stubs

Though it may seem that bank statements and pay stubs are harmless, it still contains your name, address, possibly your bank account number ( either partial or whole number) and how much money you have in your account. These are all things that hackers can easily impersonate you with if it fell into the wrong hands. Your pay stub could also contain your social security number. These items should definitely be in your shred pile.

2. Credit/Debit Cards and Credit/Debit Card Numbers

How many of us have cut up our credit card with scissors, threw it in the trash and called it good? Well, it’s not very good. Compromised cards are often those that are put back together . It can contain your card number, your name and possibly your address. Decrease risks of credit card fraud by shredding them.

3. Old Tax Returns

Shredding your old tax returns is the best way to prevent tax fraud. Throwing away your tax returns can put you at high risk of fraud with information like your social security number, address, name, income and place of employment all on one paper. If someone stole your information they could apply for credit cards, open up bank accounts, apply for a tax return under your name, etc.

4. Junk Mail

Junk mail may be junk to you but a gold mine to an identity thief. If you’re currently throwing away credit card offers or loan offers that comes in the mail, you could be putting yourself at risk. If that junk mail got into the wrong hands, someone could open up an account in your name.

5. Canceled/Voided Checks

Have you ever seen the movie Blank Check? How often do you void a check? What do you do with it afterwards? Do you throw it away or leave it laying around the house? Voided checks are an easy way for someone to access your routing number and account number. Your name and address could also be on that check making it a high risk item for identity theft. If you write a check, make sure you’re writing a check to a trusted source or pay cash, if possible.

6. ATM receipts

Although these little things like to fly out of your car window, they are just as important as any other financial document. If fallen in the wrong hands you could be at high risk of identity theft. Account numbers and routing numbers are often exposed which makes it important to keep a tight grip on ATM receipts.

What have we learned from this? When in doubt, shred! If your name, address and phone number is on it, shred it. If your bank account information is on it, shred it! What better company could you ask to shred your documents besides Access Records Management? We take pride in making sure your documents are safe and we like to provide our customers with the knowledge they need to keep their documents safe.

Where do you store important document information?


This is a real example of what can, and does happen if you store paper files in your basement or garage. In this case you can see that water damage has left all the documents inside these folders damaged beyond repair. This could be very important tax records or family photos of memories that you will never get back. If you are storing something of extreme importance in a garage or basement then you are taking a huge gamble that they will get destroyed or lost.

The obvious gamble is water damage. Low lying areas such as a garage or basement are very common areas that are prone to flooding, plumbing leaks, or a sump pump backing up. If you do store important documents or records in a garage or basement, make sure the boxes of documents are not directly on the floor. They need to be up on a shelf or stored on a pallet.

Another gamble, especially in the Midwest, if you store your records on your own is tornado damage. Granted a low lying area is where you are supposed to go for severe weather, however if your records are in your office or a closet in your house that is not in a basement or garage, the chances are high that those records will be destroyed or lost in the abyss of the cyclone.

How would you feel if all of your important documents or your digital data were destroyed by a fire because someone was careless and left a candle burning unattended or threw a cigarette butt out the window of a moving car? Chances are you would be devastated.

Ok – now that I’ve got you thinking and maybe even scared a bit, here’s a great way to ensure this never happens to you. Call Access Records Management and let them store your records for you safely. Access Records Management has all the safety features in place to make sure that your records are secured and safe from water, fire, and severe weather. I know there are many times that you work from home and need those documents in your home. A wise decision would be to have a back-up plan, otherwise known as a disaster recovery plan. One important way you can save the data is to make a backup copy and keep it with Access Records Management so if your office gets destroyed you have a copy at our facility. Just like when you back-up important digital information on a thumb drive. Storing your records and critical information in two places are better than storing them in one. Call 816-331-7200 for more information and for pricing.

Altitude Sickness? Let Access Records Management help you down the mountain.

Avoid the fees of a national document management companyAre you storing records and data with a national document management company and the service fees continue to soar higher than the tallest mountain?

  • Has your national offsite data storage vendor been hitting you with higher storage rates, poor untimely service, and unreasonable surcharges?
  • Does it seem your storage vendor only has their best interests in mind?
  • Have they raised the retrieval and permanent removal fees to where you feel stuck with this vendor?

Consider making the switch to a local woman owned small business that offers clients many cost effective document management solutions that will add value to the entire records lifecycle for your business.

When you partner with Access Records Management of Kansas City, you will encounter a knowledgeable staff that truly values your business. We want to help grow your business by providing reasonable priced document management solutions. Our data management prices are typically 25% cheaper than our national competitors.

We will Exceed your Expectations by providing exceptional customer service.

  • We handle all the dirty work like physically moving the records, file indexing, the barcoding of storage boxes, etc. Data is easily trackable in our database and we provide you easy to Access to your records.
  • Pick-ups and deliveries of files or storage boxes will be done quickly and efficiently.
  • Files are available as needed 24x7x365. Stored hard copy records can be scanned, encrypted, and sent electronically thru ftp, or email.
  • When your hard copy records or files have met their retention period, and need shredded, current clients get a reduced price for bankers boxes being shred In- house.
  • All employees must pass background, credit, and drug tests.

If you’re ready to GET OFF THE MOUNTAIN, then please call or click today (816) 331-7200.

Year-End File Organizing

Frost is on the ground.  Thanksgiving has been celebrated and Christmas is on the horizon.  The end is coming, that is, the end of the year. It is time to organize for tax time, get this year’s files in order, and prepare for next year’s business.  For some of us this may not be a problem, but hopefully everyone has a filing procedure and organization scheme.  Throwing everything in a box or drawer is not organizing.  Filing space is not infinite in most offices (or homes).  So what to do with the older stuff?

There are two choices: Keep it some way or throw it out.  Keeping usually means storing your files and data in a lower access location.  I suggest a data management facility such as, Access Records Management of Kansas City.  Throwing out may mean trashing or shredding.  Without thoroughly examining the records, tossing paper records is not a good idea. And shredding is also a service offered by Access Records Management.  Another alternative is to scan and digitize documents to save space, also a service offered by Access Records Management.

Contact Access Records Management in Belton, Mo. to help you get your yearend storage requirements organized & under control. 816.331.7200

The Life of a Document

A document has an existence which parallels living beings including humans. Documents can be short-lived, such as memos; living short hopefully productive lives.  However many documents and data are long-lived, paralleling human life spans.

Human lives tend to be divided into several categories: Early life (gestation through schooling), productive working life, retirement, and finally death.

Documents including letters, spreadsheets, essays, data processing reports, and compound forms have parallel stages.  A document is:  1) thought-up, composed, edited and re-edited, and finalized during its early life.  Then it enters:  2) the productive stage where it is read, perused, reviewed, perhaps filed and/or reused, or even included as whole or part of a reference book. And eventually most are:  3) retired because they are no longer relevant.

The processes involved are different according to the document type and purpose, but almost all go through the aforementioned stages.  In a memo to remind some one of an appointment going from first written to the trash in a few minutes, the stages are certainly minimized.   While an opinion from a lawyer or a statement from the President may be indexed and kept forever having clearly gone through all the stages.

Stage 1 may be simply handwritten, “word processed,” “data-processed” or subjected to committee editing. Stage 2 leads to one or more viewings and then filing or directly but almost certainly eventually to stage 3) trash or disposal.  Stage 1 is usually in-house.  The first parts of Stage 2 are usually in-house; then the filing part is often in house at least at the beginning.  The filing and Stage 3 relevancy issue can be more complicated…Maybe documents are only kept for legal purposes or because they may be needed someday. This may be taking up valuable filing areas. This can be solved by moving records off-site. And one day those without a presidential archive will need to dispose of them.

Access Records Management (ARM) provides a “retirement home” for your low-use paper documents. ARM offers competitively priced, easy access document storage in our Kansas City based Records Center.  And for end stage documents, ARM offers destruction / shredding for your in-house or off-site documents.

Please contact us today at 816.331.7200 for more information and pricing.