All Points Mobile Shredding Blog

Can Expired Credit Cards Pose a Security Risk?

Important Steps to Take When Disposing of Expired Cards

Expired credit cards seem innocuous enough, you receive a new card in the mail and toss the expired one in the trash without a thought. But the reality is, an ID thief only needs a small amount of information to learn all about you and steal your identity and your money. Here’s a look at why you should never just throw away outdated or expired credit cards and the proper way to dispose of them.

Why Expired Credit Cards Should Not Just be Tossed in the Trash

Whether you realize it or not, your old credit cards contain just enough information for a savvy crook to gain access to your credit account. Because even though the credit card number and expiration date changes when you receive a new or replacement card, your name and the account number remains the same. Hackers and ID thieves know this–they also have the skills necessary to gain access to your account by using your old credit card.

How to Properly Dispose of Expired Credit Cards

When you receive a new or replacement credit card, it’s important to properly destroy the old card before throwing it away. You can cut up the old card using scissors or a home cross-cut shredder. If you use scissors, the key thing to keep in mind is that you have cut it into small pieces making sure to cut through the metallic chip, the magnetic strip, the card number and the CVV on the back. Keep in mind that the magnetic strip also contains personal information about you and your credit card account, so it’s crucial to ensure you’ve cut through it.

Some of the newer credit cards are made out of metal–in this case, you should contact the issuer of the card and ask for a prepaid shipping envelope to send it back. These credit card companies will destroy their metal cards for you.

Should You Recycle Old Credit Cards?

In an effort to help protect the environment, many folks think credit cards can be safely recycled since they are made of plastic. Although we are all encouraged to recycle plastics so they do not end up in a landfill, recycling them would mean that they end up in a recycling facility where workers sort through materials by hand. It may seem far fetched, but the reality is, wherever there is human contact, there’s a security risk.

In addition to following these tips on proper disposal of expired credit cards, remember that old account statements and bills should also be securely destroyed to protect your identity. Never throw these types of documents in the trash or recycling bin.

All Points Mobile Shredding can help you safeguard your identity by providing onsite shredding and destruction. We are a family-owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida serving South Florida residents and businesses since 1994. Give us a call today or fill out this form to get more information.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Mobile Shredding. All Points Mobile Shredding is a family-owned and operated on-site document destruction company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.

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