We once received a phone call from someone who lived near the expressway on the other side of the city, about 15-20 miles from our home. They found a cancelled check of John's in their front yard. No clue how it got there. The bank eventually speculated that the check somehow flew out of a truck that was on its way to the incineration facility 75 miles away and floated a few houses away from the expressway. Maybe but still real scary since it had bank information, address, phone number and driver license information on it (when we were still young and foolishly still put those things on checks).
Now we are compulsive shredders of personal information and receipts. Even to the point of taking address labels off magazines, junk mail and catalogs we receive and shredding them too. We've worn out small capacity shredders and have graduated to a heavy duty office-size one plus the old one that we use for adhesive backed labels and all the labels we get from charities trying to ply us with free stuff.
Our feeling is that the less information floating around in paper form about us, the better. We take labels off prescription bottles and buzz them too. You just never know what shred of information with your name, address and/or phone number someone might be able to take and trace back, doing something dastardly with your personal identification. Maybe it is overkill but it makes Johnnie and me feel better.
And this is why.
I walked out to get the mail from the mailbox yesterday and noticed a scrap of white paper snagged on a bush in the front yard. (Actually there are quite a few pieces of detritus scattered around the yard, besides dog poop, but it's still fairly wet underfoot so I haven't gone out to pick up stuff yet. Later this week.) I picked up the white paper and realized that it was a receipt for a prescription from our local grocery-store-pharmacy-one-stop-shopping-wonderstore, Wegmans.
My first thought was that it was one of our receipts but we faithfully keep all those to submit for reimbursement. Then I read the name: one of our neighbors about six houses down. Being innately curious, I looked at what was prescribed. Cialis. Thinking: isn't that one of the pecker-upper drugs? The 36 hour variety? Yup.
First, why was this in the trash or recycle bin? Maybe their insurance company doesn't reimburse for, ahem, drugs like this? Second, how much do you want your neighbors knowing about what pecker-upper drugs you are taking? And how embarrassing would that be? Plus holy cow, it cost $113 for a month.
Anyway, it just reinforces our policy of shredding and securely disposing of everything that has our information on it. I'll never look at that neighbor in the same way again.