The head of the Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau is reminding people to be careful with your documents.

President and CEO Rosalind Scott says fraudsters often steal private information from your mail, garbage or lost wallets.

She says one of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is by regularly shredding documents that contain personal details and banking information.

“Quite often people throw away things that they think are not really important. All of us, from time to time, get an invitation to take out a credit card…people think, ‘Oh, I don’t want that, I can throw it away’, well [now] somebody else can pick that up and they can apply for it.”

Scott recommends storing private documents in a locked cupboard or filing cabinet, and not leaving mail lying around at home or in the mailbox.