Exclusive: Personal information of Rent-A-Center customers discovered in Port Richmond dumpster

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October 31, 2013 8:26:48 PM PDT
A sharp eyed city Streets Department sanitation officer came across critical personal information casually tossed in a Port Richmond dumpster.

The discovery took place outside the Rent-A-Center at Aramingo and Ontario.

"What I discovered was several different folders with fully filled out credit applications for Rent-A-Center," Officer Brian Chavis of Sanitation Enforcement said.

Chavis said information including dates of birth, addresses, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and references could be found on these applications.

As Officer Chavis alerted police, a man identifying himself as a Rent-A-Center employee came out.

He said little as he was informed of what was inside the dumpster.

Then the man quickly retrieved a locked bin belonging to a secure recycling firm and began retrieving the sensitive files.

Enid Rojas, a Rent-A-Center customer, does not know if her information was compromised, but says everyone should be annoyed about such casual treatment of any personal identifiers given the potential of identity theft.

"I would feel very violated and I would want answers because that's my personal information," Rojas said. "Why wouldn't they shred it?"

In a statement Rent-A-Center said it "...is committed to the proper destruction of sensitive paper-based documents and has long-standing safeguards in place for secure shredding through a leading information-management company?"

The company said it was grateful the issue was brought to their attention and it was being investigated.

The number of files found is still undetermined. Initial reports put the number at 100, while Rent-A-Center says there were 30.

For more information on identity theft and what to do if you believe you are a victim visit: http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/victim_IdentityTheft.html


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