Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

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kaneohe
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Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by kaneohe » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:57 am

Have some checks from a checking account last used about 20 yrs ago and probably closed about that time. Any harm in just throwing them
in the trash and not shredding them? How about cancelled checks from same acct......a few had SSN on them so obviously that would be handled w/ care but the others?

Credit cards not nearly that old....perhaps 3-5 yrs.....but account is verified closed by automated phone.
Last edited by kaneohe on Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

Traveller
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks?

Post by Traveller » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:59 am

If the accounts are long since closed, probably no risk in throwing them away.

However, I'd probably drop them in the shred box at work, or toss them in the firepit/fireplace.

Edit: I assumed thes are cancelled checks. If these are unused checks, Id definately destroy them just to avoid hassle for somebody.

tim1999
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:05 am

I'd shred or burn them. Even though the account was closed and had no money in it, I'd be afraid some crook would get ahold of them and go around town writing "bad checks" or goods or services with my name and address on them.

student
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by student » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:19 am

I would shred them too. It is small investment in time. Maybe your kid (if you have one) would like to help you as it may be a game to him/her. On second thought, bad idea, you don't want him/her start taking stuff to shred.

Nate79
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by Nate79 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:18 am

I always shred them.

sport
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by sport » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:00 am

I shred anything that has my name and/or address. The problem I see is that there may be other items in the trash that do not have my name on them, but I would not want them to be identified as mine. The infrequent time I need to dispose of a credit card, I cut it into pieces.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:02 am

I would shred them. Not only that I through them in my worm bin. It will disappear in 6 months.
For credit cards, I cut them into very small pieces and throw them in yard. My version of tan bark.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:41 am

If you don't have a shredder check if your community has a shredding facility or holds shredding days.

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lazydavid
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:02 pm

I shred EVERYTHING. That way, not only are all my important/sensitive documents in thousands of pieces, those pieces are interspersed with hundreds of thousands of pieces from useless documents like junk mail.

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heartwood
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by heartwood » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:09 pm

I generally shred everything. For two Chase CC we recently cancelled I asked them to send return mailers for the metal cards (Sapphire Reserve and a United Club Visa). Neither one is shredable in a home shredder or by my efforts with metal shears. Mailer arrived 2 days later.

kaneohe
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by kaneohe » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:42 pm

Thanks all for the replies. Looks pretty unanimous for shredding. I think I empirically found out that shredding was more efficient.......
I thought I would (for the statements, not the checks) just cut out half of the account number and then discard the 1st halves one week and
then the other halves sometime later. After I cut the first bunch, I realized that the account number was sometimes in 2 places on the same
page so another cut. Then I realized that when there were multiple pages for a statement,the account number was not always in the same place
on both pages so I have become a convert to shredding.

Just wondering tho what someone would do with half a check and half of the account number esp w/ an old cancelled account?
I guess I could imagine with a whole check, someone would write a check and try to pass it around and muddy up the check owner's name
but don't they do some "checks" when you try to give them a check....like check your ID or whatever.

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blaugranamd
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by blaugranamd » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:12 pm

I shred everything sensitive and use the shredded scraps as kindling for our backyard fire pit. They work great in this regard. :sharebeer
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StevieG72
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by StevieG72 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:53 pm

Definately shred them!

I recently purged some old tax returns and simply tossed them in a bonfire in my backyard. It was a bit much for the shredder.

I like the idea of shredded paper as kindling.
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SimonJester
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by SimonJester » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:27 am

kaneohe wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:42 pm
Just wondering tho what someone would do with half a check and half of the account number esp w/ an old cancelled account?
I guess I could imagine with a whole check, someone would write a check and try to pass it around and muddy up the check owner's name
but don't they do some "checks" when you try to give them a check....like check your ID or whatever.
I suppose with two half pieces they could recombine and create a new check with your information on it, ie bank account number your name and address.
Its better to not give them a starting point to go off of...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:33 am

When it comes to old paper, it's easier to shred everything than spend mental energy trying to figure out which to keep, which to shred. I wait for a community shredding event and just cart everything. They use industrial grade shredders (service donated by company that specializes in this) and give you free doughnuts afterwards. It's not longer an issue because I went almost completely paperless since 2013-2014. Old credit cards or paper that I may not want to throw out without shredding I just toss into a box and will take to a shredding even in due time. At the current rate of accumulation, I figure I can go at least 10 years before I have enough paper again to justify a "shredding run." I may go earlier for the free doughnuts.

neilpilot
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:41 am

SimonJester wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:27 am

I suppose with two half pieces they could recombine and create a new check with your information on it, ie bank account number your name and address.
Its better to not give them a starting point to go off of...
Get real. That's a bank account that the OP closed around 20 years ago. I assume that the OP's name & address is easily available as public information, assuming that the OP hasn't changed address in the past 20 years.

What additional risk would a 20 year old bank account number pose?

kaneohe
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by kaneohe » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:35 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:41 am
SimonJester wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:27 am

I suppose with two half pieces they could recombine and create a new check with your information on it, ie bank account number your name and address.
Its better to not give them a starting point to go off of...
Get real. That's a bank account that the OP closed around 20 years ago. I assume that the OP's name & address is easily available as public information, assuming that the OP hasn't changed address in the past 20 years.

What additional risk would a 20 year old bank account number pose?
Also, I mentioned earlier that the halves were being discarded separately.....left halves this wk, right halves some weeks later .....so unlikely(tho possible) that someone would get hold of both parts. ....and actually it's for DD and has college address.

JBTX
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by JBTX » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:48 pm

You can get shredder that also shreds credit cards fairly cheap at Best Buy.

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flamesabers
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Re: Need to Shred Old Checks? Old Credit Cards?

Post by flamesabers » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:05 pm

I would recommend shredding both old checks and credit cards. Even when the account is closed, you never know when identity thieves might get creative and find a way to reactive/reopen the account using discarded checks and credit cards.

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