How the Bedford Police Department says you could be oversharing through bumper stickers

Bumper stickers can be harmless, but they can also let thieves know exactly where to go

Local law enforcement agencies highlight the importance of protecting personal information, including what you share on the back of your vehicle.

BEDFORD, VA. – A local police department is taking time to remind people while identity thieves may be staying indoors, they haven't given up trying to scam you.

The Bedford Police Department is warning people across the area that cute bumper stickers could be just like leaving your keys on the doorstep.

Bedford Chief Todd Foreman is in the classroom re-certifying as a crime prevention specialist. And while the usual topics like violence and break-ins are covered, identity theft is a growing concern.

“I’ve seen someone lose $100,000 in the past, where somebody got bank information from them in a business and they were able to take a $100,000 from them,” Foreman said.

Here at 10 News, our cars are rolling billboards. But your car on the other hand probably isn’t, and you may be unknowingly giving it all away.

“There’s a lot of things you can get from the information, you can get people’s money, you can get into their bank accounts, I mean identity theft still happens,” said Foreman.

The department shared an infographic on social media pointing out the fact that your information is the currency of thieves.

They say you’re actually advertising things like your small dog won’t bite with an “I love my Weiner Dog” sticker, your kids’ names and what schools they attend, and how you’re a busy family with stickers like cheer and soccer.

Foreman said this all can be used to socially engineer into your accounts.

“So they can get in on you, find passwords, find information from you so they can get into your accounts and steal your money or steal your identity or open bank accounts in your name,” Foreman said.

Just having bumper stickers on your car doesn’t guarantee you’ll fall victim. But Foreman said everyone should do their part.

“Our objective is to prevent crime, I would much rather us have very low crime and have no crimes to investigate because our citizens are not victims of these crimes,” Foreman said.

The Federal Trade Commission said popular contrary belief, more young people have fallen victim to fraud than older people. but on average, they only lost $500, as compared to older folks who lost $1,600.