NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – Geraldine Zillions has two social security cards. She uses one. A criminal uses one.
“They have gone and gotten loans, they’ve gotten credit cards,” she said Wednesday.
A victim of identity theft 25 years ago, she is constantly on the watch now for actions that might risk ID theft again. So when she saw an employee at the Tantara Club Apartments in North Richland Hills dumping boxes of paperwork into a dumpster, she checked it out, then called CBS 11.
Thousands of pages of documents filled the container. It was years of maintenance records, lease contracts and apartment applications.
Many of the documents were 10 years old or older. However several contained photocopies of drivers licenses, social security cards and checks. Many of the applications were attached to full credit reports for tenants.
Texas does have a law about dumping customer data called the Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection act.
It requires a business to “destroy or arrange for the destruction of customer records containing sensitive personal information.”
Businesses that ignore the rule can be penalized by fines of $2,000.
Two employees in the management office, and a supervisor for managing company D.M.J. Management, Inc. told CBS 11 the document dump was a mistake. The papers were supposed to be taken to a storage room for shredding.
After CBS 11 made them aware of the information in the container, three employees returned and started filling several trash bags with the papers.
Zillions said it was a relief to see the situation remedied as she regularly see people pick through the dumpsters, salvaging for anything valuable after tenants move out.