Your trash could be making life easy for ID thieves

When you hear the words "identity theft," there's a good chance you think of a hacker breaking into some database. But in many cases, all the ID thief has to do is look in the trash or recycle bin.

We make it easy for the bad guys by not destroying documents with personal information on them.

"One of the areas where we're most vulnerable is when we leave documents that have important information that we no longer need out there by throwing them away or discarding them on a table somewhere near people," says Adam Levin, chairman of Identity Theft 911.

"This is like the promised land. This is the blueprint. This is the yellow brick road for identity thieves in terms of going to OZ, which is really your financial life."

Levin says you've got to shred any documents with account numbers of other sensitive information on them.

"That which does not exist, cannot be used to recreate you. But as long as it's out there in some physical form, you're vulnerable and that's a big mistake."

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can have your documents shredded (up to 3 boxes) for free at the AAA offices in Bellevue, Tacoma and Mill Creek. There's also free cell phone recycling

  • Bellevue: 14404 NE 20th St., Suite 150,

  • ill Creek: 15415 Main Street, Suite 104

  • Tacoma: 1801 S. Union Ave.