BBB Offers Free On-Site Document Shredding and Identity Theft Prevention Tips
October 31, 2012

BBB Offers Free On-Site Document Shredding and Identity Theft Prevention Tips

BBB invites community to take part in Secure Your ID Day

For Immediate Release – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it's partners will hold their annual Secure Your ID Day on Saturday, October 13, in Lorain. Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend the event and take a key step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of their sensitive paper documents as well as CDs and floppy discs.

Event Details

Who: Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland with Rad Air Complete Car Care, All Ohio Secure Shred and Apprisen Financial Advocates

What: Free on-the-spot document shredding. Get information about child identity theft – a growing national problem- and other tips to protect your identity. Limit 3 boxes or bags per car.

When: Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Where: RadAir Complete Car Care, 5350 Leavitt Rd, Lorain, Ohio 44053 (RadAir is located at the South side of Kmart at the corner of Leavitt and Cooper Foster Roads)

Bring up to three boxes or bags of documents to be shredded and take home the tips and resources you need to help protect yourself. Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders. Staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy discs are okay to be shredded.

Safely Donate Unused Cell Phones - Bring your old cell phones and we’ll donate them to Hopeline by Verizon. Hopeline provides phones to victims of domestic violence. Donated phones are put through an extensive refurbishing process to ensure that personal information is removed.

As the result of two nationwide Secure Your ID Days in 2011, BBB helped individuals and small businesses at more than 120 sites across the country shred 2.1 million pounds of sensitive documents.

Last year alone, 8.1 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $37 billion, according to a 2011 report from Javelin Strategy and Research. The average out-of-pocket loss nearly doubled from the 2009 study, going from $387 to $631 per incident.

In addition to shredding outdated or unneeded documents, the BBB has 10 steps you can take to protect your identity:

  • Shred statements and applications you get in the mail that you don’t want to keep. These include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms, billing statements from utilities and phone service.

  • Cut up expired credit and debit cards. Make sure you cut through the numbers.

  • Protect your Social Security number, all account numbers and passwords. Don’t carry these numbers in your wallet. Give out personal identifiers only when absolutely necessary. Beware of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls if someone asks for the numbers.

  • Secure personal documents at home. If you have roommates or if you employ outside help or contractors in your home, make sure personal documents are in a safe place and not lying out in plain sight.

  • Minimize personal information printed on checks. You don’t need to include your Social Security number, driver’s license or phone number.

  • Monitor bank and credit card transactions for unauthorized transactions. Crooks may start with small transactions to see if you notice.
  • Pay attention to billing cycles. If bills don’t arrive on time, follow up with your creditors.

  • Don’t create obvious passwords. Avoid using your birth date, child’s name or birth date, mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

  • If you conduct business online, use your own computer. A public computer is less secure.

  • Never use email to communicate sensitive personal information. Don’t respond to emails asking to verify your personal information and identifiers. Neither your bank, credit card company, online payment system nor the IRS will call or email asking you for confidential information. They already have it.

For more consumer tips or a BBB Business Review of a business, check with the BBB at cleveland.bbb.org or by calling 216-241-7678.