A shocking discovery was made Thursday morning by some people who work at an Albuquerque business center: boxes upon boxes of un-redacted, old tax records for various people and entities.
It’s incredible how just a few numbers can allow someone to steal your identity. What may be scarier, is trusting someone else to keep those numbers safe but learning they ended up in a public dumpster.
Flor Irivn works at the business center on the northwest corner of Candelaria and Carlisle. Thursday morning, while doing her routine trip to the recycling dumpster in the alley behind the center, she found the load of tax documents.
“I’m very just shocked,” she told KRQE News 13, “To see that your information is just sitting in someone’s alleyway.”
The documents were from the early 2000’s and included sensitive information ranging from social security numbers to checkbooks and banking account information to phone numbers.
It’s unclear who dumped the documents, but many of them were prepared by H&R Block and had a phone number that connects to the Coors location near Cottonwood Mall.
KRQE News 13 called the national company and were sent this explanation:
H&R Block takes the responsibility for our clients’ information very seriously. We are committed to protecting personal data.
[Thursday] afternoon, H&R Block was made aware that certain of its files may not have been properly disposed of. Within minutes, a local manager arrived at the location and collected a small number of files related to former clients.
She stayed onsite while staff of an unrelated competing tax preparer retrieved their clients’ tax documents from the same location.
H&R Block is working to identify the impacted clients and will follow up with each as deemed necessary and appropriate.