Leslie Green asks:
Criminal gangs have been known to pay vagrants to search through people’s refuse to find useful information like bank statements, credit card statements, receipts and so forth. With such personal information the criminals can then pretend to be the householder and take out loans, buy things or do other bad things having stolen somebody’s identity.
Steve is fairly careful about shredding such documents, but about 5% of the time an important document slips into the refuse unshredded. Fortunately, unless he is being specifically targeted, it is pretty unlikely that somebody will be going through his refuse every week. Let’s put the odds at 1 in 1000 for each weekly collection.
Assuming that if Steve fails to shred a document, and if the criminals are searching his bins at that time, his identity will be stolen, what is the chance of that happening in a 10 year period?