In 2019, more than 14.4 million people reported being the victim of some kind of identity theft. That’s one person in 15! If bank account numbers, social security numbers or other sensitive information land in the hands of a scammer, identity theft could happen to you. Don’t leave it to chance – bring sensitive documents to BBB’s free Shred Day, sponsored by Todd Briscoe Dentistry and W.A. Zimmer Company.
BBB Serving Northern Indiana will host its free Shred Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon in Fort Wayne. Bring up to five boxes of documents to be securely shredded on-site. Binders cannot be accepted but staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy disks can be shredded. The event is free, but a $5 donation to the BBB’s Charitable and Educational Fund is recommended.
“Identity theft is an ever-increasing risk for consumers,” said Marjorie Stephens, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Indiana. “That is why the BBB is proud to offer free services to help consumers secure their information.”
Who: Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Northern Indiana
What: Free, drive-up document shredding
When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to noon – or until the truck is full
Where: Afdent Parking Lot in Fort Wayne, 4041 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, Ind., 46808
Suggested documents to shred include:
• Bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills more than a year old
• Paid utility bills more than a month old
• Pre-approved credit card or loan solicitations
• ATM receipts
• Supporting tax documents more than seven years old
In addition to shredding documents with sensitive personal data, the BBB offers the following tips to protect you and your family from identity thieves.
Look for unexpected or unexplained withdrawals, charges and accounts. Review your bank, credit card, and other financial statements regularly when they become available. Keep track of when your bills are due. If you see activity you don’t recognize or stop receiving bills, statements, or other communication unexpectedly, that can be a red flag. This can happen when a scammer changes the address associated with your bank, card, or other services. Follow up on missing bills or strange charges immediately. Consider setting up alerts on your accounts so you are notified whenever a transaction is made.
Check your credit reports for unauthorized inquiries or accounts. You can check your credit report, for free, with each of the major credit bureaus once per year at AnnualCreditReport.com. That is the only free credit reporting service authorized by the Federal Trade Commission. If you space those checks throughout the year, you can catch any strange activity before it spirals out of control.
Practice good digital security. Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Make sure you don’t use the same passwords for multiple online accounts. Avoid common passwords and security questions, like your child’s name, birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, pet names, first car or hometown. Much of that information could be gathered from your (or a friend’s) social media.