JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Countless families were exposed to identity theft and fraud when a defunct company’s files were tossed out with the trash, the I-TEAM uncovered.
Hundreds of pages of personal information, including credit card numbers and Social Security numbers, were found in a Jacksonville dumpster behind a business on San Juan Avenue and Blanding Boulevard.
The property manager who found the boxes of documents was so upset that he alerted News4Jax.
Toby Norris, a Vietnam veteran, has run a neon sign shop for more than four decades. He said he knew right away something was wrong when he spotted the documents.
“I know damn well you can’t put people’s information in the dumpster,” Norris said.
A few days ago, Norris found hundreds of pages of personal information in about seven or eight boxes in the dumpster behind his business.
“The reason I called you is because this person left a lot of confidential information in the dumpster,” Norris explained.
The documents include check numbers, banking account numbers, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers.
The common denominator on the papers was a company called H&P Capital. The I-TEAM found out it used to be in a building across the street from Norris’ business, but it shut down a few years ago.
The co-owner of the new company now using H&P Capital’s old office said he found the boxes of documents in the attic.
“We were concerned about it being a fire hazard, so we hired a moving company to come move out all the files,” said Charles Gilley, with Mayhem Innovations.
But that company, T-N-T Movers, was supposed to get rid of the all the papers, not throw them in someone else’s dumpster next door.
Gilley said his team didn’t know there was personal, confidential information on the documents when he hired the movers.
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“If it’s our fault, we’ll definitely make it right by paying to get it removed,” Gilley said. “At the end of the day, we just want to make sure that it does get somewhere safe.”
A manager with T-N-T Movers said he was told the team disposed of everything off-site, but he’s looking into the problem so it doesn’t happen again.
For more information on protecting yourself from identity theft, go to www.usa.gov/identity-theft.