The Better Business Bureau will be hosting a national identity theft prevention and education event in local communities coast-to-coast on Saturday, September 20, 2008. Businesses and consumers can bring paper documents containing personal and sensitive information, and the BBB will shred them for you – on the spot.
Locally, the BBB Serving Eastern Michigan is partnering with Michigan First Credit Union (www.michiganfirst.com) and Shred-it International (www.shredit.com) to provide FREE shredding services on Sept 20 from 10 am – 3 pm in Macomb and Oakland counties.
LOCAL SHRED LOCATIONS (Michigan First Credit Union branches)
Evergreen Branch (Oakland County)
27000 Evergreen Road
Lathrup Village, MI 48076
Gratiot Branch (Macomb County)
21650 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Shred-It will dispose of up to four bags/boxes of documents at no charge. There will be a $10 dollar per bag/box charge for those exceeding the FREE promotion. These fees will be donated to the BBB Educational Foundation which provides consumer education materials and programs to the public.
“Identity Theft is largely a crime of access,” noted Tim Burns, Public Affairs Director for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan. “Our goal for ‘Secure Your ID’ Day is to make information less accessible and empower people to be their own first line of defense against identity theft.”
Last year alone, 8.1 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $45 billion, according to a 2008 report from Javelin Strategy and Research on behalf of the Better Business Bureau. The report notes that the majority (56 percent) of ID theft occurs when the thief had direct contact with the victim’s personal information, through a stolen or lost wallet, rifling through a personal mailbox or trashcan, or even stealing documents from inside a home or business.
“While many people are concerned about the Internet when it comes to ID theft, BBB research shows that a majority of these crimes are traced back to traditional paper documents and records,” noted Burns. “The Better Business Bureau encourages consumers and businesses to come out on September 20th for ‘Secure Your Id’ Day to shred those unneeded sensitive documents you might be holding onto.”
In addition to keeping these documents out of the hands of scam artists, all the paper that is shredded by Shred-It will be recycled, thus avoiding landfills. Earlier this year, the Better Business Bureau partnered with Shred-It for a “Secure Your ID” day in May and shred more than 45,800 pounds of documents (23 tons).
BBB "Secure Your ID" Day will take place rain or shine. For more information, call your local BBB at 248-644-9100.