monopoly_money.jpgWhat do ID thieves need to successfully become you and mess up your life forever? Generally, the details on your tax return documents, one of the reasons why California Civil Code requires businesses to make customer records unreadable when tossing them out. But other than a little fall rain, hundreds of tax returns were left for the taking on a SF street, dumped by an evicted tax preparer who said the records were too heavy to carry.

According to the Chron, when the Jackson Hewitt tax preparers at 1734 Divisadero St. got kicked out for not paying rent, tenant Lionel Mayrand left behind boxes and bags of paper.

The building owner’s wife called a shredding company, which told her to leave the files by the front door. But they didn’t come to pick the papers up, and some time later a passerby who came upon what the Chron says was “hundreds” of only slightly overnight-rain-dampened returns ended up calling one of the folks on the top of the pile, to let her know that her (and others) Social Security number, W-2 forms, name, address and phone number were right there on Divis.

The Jackson Hewitt employee tells the Chron that the papers “shouldn’t have been out there,” but “as far as I was concerned they were properly disposed of.”

Creeped out yet? If not, read the story in its entirety. You will be!

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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