I just recently acquired a shredder for my home and personal use, and something tells me it’s going to change my life. See, I am a recent victim of credit card theft (actually debit theft, if you want to get detailed about it,) which is in itself a form of identity theft. Somebody stole my card information, made a duplicate card, and put their name on the card then used it to go on a spending spree at the Seven Feathers Resort Casino in Eugene, Oregon. No, I am not making this up. And I bet if I asked around, many if not all of you would have similar stories about stolen card information, maybe even more serious grievances such as insurance theft. Bottom line, identity theft is a crazy big problem in the U.S. right now, and you can’t be too careful when dealing with sensitive documents. Thus, my shiny brand new shredder, which I intend to use frequently in an attempt to lower my risk for being a victim again. So when I stumbled upon this article today, I just had to share in light of my recent brush with crime and my new shredder. The Better Business Bureau apparently hosted a “Shred Day” at a bank in Texas where they ended up shredding 14,000 pounds of paper. Kristin Gordon of KWTX reports,
“The Better Business Bureau held a Shred Day event in Killeen Saturday to educate the public on identity theft and fraud prevention.
As drivers pulled into the First National Bank Texas they were greeted by volunteers who unloaded mounds of papers that contained sensitive information. When plastic containers reached their capacity, they were wheeled to a truck that lifted, dumped and shredded thousands of papers that would eventually end up at a recycling plant.
Those who brought old computers had the hard drive taken out and crushed while they watched. Unwanted electronics were also taken.”
Click here to read more about the Shred Day event and what the turnout was like.
I wrote a great article back in January highlighting some of the top things to do to avoid being scammed on by an identity thief. It includes tips like checking your bank accounts regularly (most Smart Phones even have apps so you can do it from the convenience of your phone, but make sure the accounts are password protected!), buying a cross-cut shredder and actually USING it, and checking your credit report every year or two. Check out the rest of my article to get really savvy on how to protect your identity.