Spring cleaning took on new meaning for more than 23,000 consumers and small businesses that participated in “Secure Your ID Day” on April 21. Approximately 1.5 million pounds of documents were shredded at 75 free events around the United States and Canada.
Better Business Bureau hosts “Secure Your ID Day” twice a year. Although the fall event is usually much larger, this year’s spring event saw huge increases in participation from previous years. More than 41 local BBBs hosted a total of 75 events, processed 23,194 vehicles loaded with bags and boxes, and shredded 774.5 tons of sensitive documents free of charge.
“Identity theft is a major issue in this country,” said Katherine Hutt, spokesperson at the Council of Better Business Bureaus, “and one of the easiest ways for criminals to steal your identity is to get a hold of tax forms, bank statements, credit card records, and Social Security statements. When you don’t need hard copies of this information any longer, the best thing is to shred it and dispose of it securely.”
According to Javelin Strategy and Research, more than 11.6 million adults became victims of identity fraud last year in the U.S. This is up 13 percent over 2010. Social networks and smart phones account for a big part of the increase, but a “paper trail” is still a prime way for thieves to gather key data needed for fraud.
For more information, visit bbb.org.