Files with personal data found in trash bins

Mike Salinero and Peter Barnard report:

Hundred of files containing personal information such as names, addresses and Social Security numbers were found Saturday in metal trash bins at two locations in North Tampa.

Claudia Dozier, proprietor of Hair Visions Salon, found the first batch of files when she was taking garbage out behind her business. Dozier called News Channel 8, and a reporter who examined the files found they belonged to Creative Financial Services of Tampa Bay Inc., a mortgage lending company.

Further investigation showed the building where the mortgage company was supposed to be located was empty, but the trash bin beside the building was overflowing with mortgage records.

Bassem Matoubsi, the former owner of the now-defunct mortgage company, said he paid a “private contractor,” recommended by a friend, to shred the documents after he learned he was being evicted from the building. Matoubsi said he could not remember the name of the contractor when contacted by The Tampa Tribune on Saturday night.

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