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Are you in the habit of discarding Amazon packages once you've retrieved your order? Beware! This seemingly innocuous action could potentially expose your personal data to cybercriminals.

Have you ever received an Amazon package, extracted your purchased item, and then disposed of the envelope or box in the trash? This widely practiced behavior actually poses a significant security risk.
That's why you should never throw the envelope or box you received from Amazon in the trash.

Why You Should Never Throw Away the Envelope or Box You Receive from Amazon?

In fact, it ranks among the most prevalent forms of fraud today, rivaling cybercrimes like phishing.

Today, not only are individuals without homes rummaging through dumpsters for clothing or food, but opportunistic fraudsters are also on the lookout for chances to obtain your information this way. This practice, known as "Dumpster Diving," has expanded beyond simply scavenging for discarded items in trash receptacles and dumpsters.

Essentially, criminals are after your data—information that holds value for deceiving you. For example, consider an Amazon package you discard. With just your order details (found on the label, envelope, or box), fraudsters can impersonate Amazon, aiming to steal from you.

We highlight Amazon due to its widespread use, but this method applies to any similar shipments. Once they possess your details, online criminals will devise various reasons to contact you, often claiming to issue refunds while actually aiming to extract your banking information.

While the above scenario is common, fraudsters also exploit any similar documents: invoices, bank statements, receipts, airline tickets, printed emails, or any paperwork revealing information about you, your purchase history, or other personal details. Exercise caution when disposing of CDs or USB drives containing potentially harmful files.
That's why you should never throw the envelope or box you received from Amazon in the trash.

Beware of "garbage diving" criminals: how to protect yourself from data theft through waste!

What is "garbage diving"?

"Diving into the garbage" is an ancient practice that has traditionally been used to search for usable items from among the garbage. But in our digital age, the term has shifted to refer to the theft of personal data through waste.

How do "garbage diving" criminals work?

Scammers look for any documents that contain your personal information, such as:
  1. Shipping labels: Mail packages contain information such as your name, address, and email address, which can allow scammers to impersonate companies like Amazon to steal your money.
  2. Invoices and bank statements: These documents can be used to get your bank account information and steal your money.
  3. Receipts: Receipts may reveal your buying habits, which fraudsters may use for targeted fraud.
  4. Other personal documents: Any document that contains your personal information, such as airline tickets or printed emails, can be used for fraudulent purposes.

How to protect yourself from "diving in the garbage"?

  1. Dispose of sensitive documents properly: Shred any document containing your personal information before disposing of it.
  2. Use a paper shredder: Shredder sensitive documents instead of manually shredding them for increased security.
  3. Be careful about what you throw: Don't throw away CDs or hard drives that contain personal data without destroying them first.
  4. Choose reliable waste disposal companies: Make sure the waste disposal company you choose has strong security practices to protect your data.

How to avoid falling victim to Dumpster Diving?

Given the current circumstances, it's best to dispose of any Amazon box or envelope, along with the previously mentioned documents, in a secure manner. You don't need to shred everything, but focusing on the label that contains important information is crucial; the cardboard itself isn't as critical.

If you have a paper shredder, the most effective method is to use scissors to cut everything into small pieces. This simple step can significantly hinder fraudsters from accessing your personal information.
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