FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo recently went through the trash of some businesses around the state and did not like what he found.
Stumbo said Tuesday that 33 of the 121 businesses that had their garbage inspected threw away personal information of more than 1,250 people, violating state laws that require such information to be shredded or destroyed in another method.
"Consumers face an increased risk of identity theft or loss of privacy when their personal information is not destroyed when records are discarded," Stumbo said. "There have been numerous accounts in the past few years of dumpster-diving by identity thieves. It is vitally important that businesses take care to destroy consumers' personal information when disposing of records."
Of the 33, 14 threw away the sensitive information -- like Social Security numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, birth dates, driver's license or personal ID card numbers, loan numbers, customer account numbers, insurance policy numbers, medical insurance policy and group numbers and personal medical information -- of almost 1,000 people.
The 33 businesses have been notified by the Office of Consumer Protection, which is requesting extra information from the 14 that threw out sensitive information. Stumbo says he will ask the businesses to develop or strengthen policies to ensure compliance with state law.
Stumbo is in his last few months as Attorney General, and is currently eyeing a Senate run.
Currently, Democrat Jack Conway appears to have a strong lead over Republican Stan Lee in the race to replace Stumbo. Conway plans to keep Stumbo's suits against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma and Marathon Oil, while Lee said he would have to take a hard look at dropping them.