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My family has a bad habit of recycling Amazon shipping boxes without taking out the labels. We have been doing this for the past year or so and have noticed a slight and steady increase in the amount of spam calls we have received at home. I am not one to immediately assume this is directly tied with the shipping labels, as correlation does not imply causation, yet I am getting more and more concerned about this.

I have taken it upon myself to rip out as many shipping labels, but sometimes I myself will forget and end up throwing a box into the recycling without giving it a second glance.

What possible information could be garnered from an Amazon shipping label? I'm afraid that we're letting out much more information besides a telephone number or an address, or even a name. Are there any huge security risks of some attacker getting a hold of a shipping label? Could they get the credit card number or choice of Payment, etc?

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A standard Amazon Shipping label (ANSI/UCC-128) has 6 zones.

  • Zone A: Ship From
  • Zone B: Ship To
  • Zone C: Carrier Routing Barcode(Ship to Postal Code)
  • Zone D: Carrier Segment (Carrier Specific info. Usually Bill of Lading # & Tracking #)
  • Zone E: Customer Segment (Usually contains Purchase Order#/ contents info - UPC, Qty, etc...)
  • Zone I: SSCC barcode( A unique identifier for the package. Like a license plate.)

Aside from the human readable data on the label. None of these barcodes relate to any personally identifying information; A 9 digit postal code, and a license plate number identifying the package.

Could they get the credit card number or choice of Payment, etc?

To answer directly, no.

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