Transcript for Junkyard Identity Theft: How to Keep Your Information Safe
We're back at 7:40 with "Gma investigates" and an urgent new warning about identity theft. More than 11 million cars are scrapped each year sent to salvage yards but what's left in them could end up wrecking your life. ABC's gio Benitez is at a salvage yard to explain. Good morning, gio. Reporter: Robin, good morning to you. Listen, cars end up here for lots of reason, accidents, people just turn them in for parts. People just want to get rid of them. In a few minutes this morning we found someone's driver's license right in the front seat of this car and you won't believe what else we found. So this morning, "Gma investigates." There's a lot in here. Reporter: Names, address, social security Numbers. Even bank account information. Oh, we have six acres. "Gma investigates" undercover at two pick and pull lots in new Jersey. Foreign cars will be on your left. Domestic cars and trucks on your right. Reporter: The concept is simple. We paid a dollar for entry to the lot and acres of cars unsupervised searching. Among the scraps, something that could be highly valuable. Loads of personal information left behind for anyone to possibly steal your identity. In this car we find part of a deed to a condo. And in this one, bank deposit slips. Dozens of car registration and insurance cards. Listing owner's names, addresses, and even driver's license Numbers. In this car we find the most concerning information, an old driver's license, uncashed paychecks, even bank statements with account Numbers. There's a lot of personal information in here. Reporter: We tracked down the owners of the car, Gary and his son and promptly return the documents. Quite a bit of stuff. Pretty unbelievable, actually. They say that bank account statement with their account number worries then the most. Had is it what really troubles me. That should have never been in the car. Reporter: With the permission of the yard's owner we went to a New York salvage yard not open to the public to see how often people leave their personal documents behind. This car just came in. Oh, we've got some documents. Oh, here we go. Insurance documents. Take a look at this video. We show the our searches to New Jersey attorney general John J. Hoffman. For at least one person we have an account number, their address, their driver's license. We have their insurance information. Is that enough to steal their identity? Yeah. It is. That list you gave me of those four, I'd have cut you short at two and said that would have been good enough. Reporter: He says he sees enough of a concern to provide new warnings to the public. This exact scenario is one that I had not been familiar with. Reporter: Even posting this new alert online just this week. We explained what we found to the two pick and pull lots we visited and they both said they tell car owners to clean out their vehicles before dropping them off and ultimately that responsibility falls on the car owners. The playfords say they're happy their information didn't end up in the wrong hands. We were fortunate. Nobody really got anything and nothing really happened to us, but somebody might not be as lucky. And so the attorney general says that before you turn your car into a salvage yard scour that car for any sensitive documents, but he says go even further, because accidents can happen at any time so just take the sensitive documents out of your car especially, robin, those banking documents. Absolutely. But it's good to check and maybe not have them in there if you can in the first place, all right there, gio, thank you.
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