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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Chicago and Northern Illinois
Help Protect Your Identity – FREE BBB Paper Shredding and Electronics Recycling Saturday, June 21st
June 17, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission national ranking of consumer complaints show that last year, consumers lost over $1.6 billion to fraud.

The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, in conjunction with various government agencies, invites consumers and businesses to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial or confidential documents FREE at the annual "Shred It and Forget It" Shredder Day at the United Center 1901 W. Madison St. Lot A in Chicago from 9AM-1PM on June 21st. Gates close at 12:45pm. Free electronics recycling will also be available.      

Hosts of the annual event include the BBB along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Department, FBI, FTC, Illinois Attorney General's Office, and United States Postal Inspection Service. The Shred Day media sponsor is WBBM Newsradio 780AM & 105.9FM. Shredding and recycling services will be provided by Vintage Tech Recyclers, Beaver Shredding, Chicago Shred Authority, Shred-It and Accurate Document Destruction.

As of January 1, 2012 the Electronic Products Recycling & Reuse Act requires people to recycle their electronic devices including televisions, monitors, printers and computers, rather than allow them to be disposed of in a landfill.

TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles are among the types of electronic equipment that will be collected for recycling at the event. To learn more about the electronics you can recycle at this event, visit www.chicagoshreds.com      

Participants are asked to limit the material they want shred to 10 boxes of documents per vehicle. There will also be free home shredders given away during the event every 15 minutes. You can register online to win a free shredder at www.chicagoshreds.com

Below are some suggestions for deciding how long to keep personal financial information:  

  • A good rule of thumb is to keep all tax returns and supporting documentation for seven years. The IRS has three years from your tax-filing date to audit, and has six years to challenge a claim.
  • Keep credit card statements for seven years if tax related expenses are documented.
  • Keep paycheck stubs for one year. Be sure to cross reference the paycheck stub to the W-2 form.
  • Be sure to keep bank statements and canceled checks for at least one year.
  • Bills should be kept for one year or until the canceled check has been returned. Receipts for large ticket items should be kept for insurance purposes.
  • Home improvement receipts should be kept for six years or permanently.
  • Items such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, titles or wills should be kept permanently in a safety deposit box.
  • If you are going to dispose of documents with sensitive information, be sure to SHRED!

More information about the "Shred It and Forget It" Shredder Day event can be found at www.chicagoshreds.com 

For more information on scams, visit http://www.bbb.org/ or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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The BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.  It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices.  The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, the BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. The BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process. In 2013, the BBB provided more than 22,600,000 instances of service.  Over 80 percent of consumer complaints to the BBB were resolved. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is a member of the international BBB system that services the United States, Canada and Mexico.