Consumers and businesses are invited to protect their identities by shredding confidential documents at free paper shredding events scheduled throughout the region this fall.
In 2011, identity theft cost Americans $37 billion and affected over 11 million adults, according to Javelin Research & Strategy.
“Identity theft is a serious crime that can cause detrimental damages to the lives of the victims,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving northeast California. “One of the easiest ways to prevent identity theft is to shred all documents containing any personal information.”
Consumers can visit any of the following locations on the dates listed to shred their personal documents for free:
: Shred up to three boxes of paper for free at the 3508 McHenry Avenue, Modesto location of Oak Valley Community Bank
on Saturday, October 20. Mobile shredding trucks will be on site from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. compliments of American Mobile Shredding
: Visit 2021 “W” Street in Sacramento on Saturday October 27. Mobile shredding trucks will be on site from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to assist in shredding up to three boxes of documents for free, compliments of American Mobile Shredding
. A $3 per box donation is requested for boxes four, five and six to benefit YMCA of Superior California
Consumers can also donate old cell phones for safe recycling. Donated phones will be given to 911 Cell Phone Bank, wiped of data and donated to citizens in need.
: Visit us Saturday, November 10 in the parking lot of the 1020 Grass Valley Highway location of Computer Addiction
. Mobile shredding trucks will be on site from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to assist in shredding up to three boxes of documents per individual, compliments of Rapid Information Destruction Services
Consumers are urged to shred anything containing financial information, account numbers, PINs, birth dates or Social Security numbers.
In addition to shredding sensitive documents, BBB offers the following top five ways consumers can safeguard their identities:
1. Check your credit report at least once each year. There is only one source authorized to give you ONE FREE annual credit file disclosure each year from each of the three consumer credit reporting companies: Call 877-322-8228 or visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Keep your smart phone, computer system and browser software up to date, and set to the highest security level you can tolerate.
3. Never use e-mail to communicate sensitive personal information such as your user name, password, Social Security number or credit card number.
4. Don’t store passwords, tax returns or other financial information on your computer hard drive.
5. Don’t use your cell phone to store credit card numbers or other financial information.
For more information, contact BBB at 916-443-6843 or visit necal.bbb.org.