Dear Apartment Community…

Imagine getting a note like this, delivered to your leasing office. Would you be guilty of the transgressions as cited by this anonymous author?

Dear Apartment Community:

I want to thank you for allowing me to come into your office today. My friend and I work in teams of two. Our job: identity theft. You made it so easy for us, we just had to say thank you.

First off, you had files on your desk that were in plain sight. Most had the name of your apartment resident on the tab, along with their address. That’s a great start for us! No more fishing through garbage cans when we’ve got your resident files sitting right there.

Since you asked for all of us to have identification to see the apartment, we knew this ahead of time and my friend purposely told you he didn’t have his. (He actually did, but by saying he didn’t he got to hang out in the leasing office area while we were gone.) You thought he was fine to leave behind with a cup of coffee while we toured, but he simply started working through the files on your desk. In ten minutes, he had social security numbers, dates of birth and even credit reports on several of your residents. He accomplished a lot in just a few minutes of time.

After we left your office, we went to another place down the street. They didn’t have files; they had everything on computer. But the leasing agent didn’t log off when she left with me and he was able to look at a file on her computer. Very helpful.

Thanks so much for giving us enough id’s that we can keep one or two and sell the others.

Do your residents know how lax your security is?

Just asking.

Thanks again!

Your local identity thieves