BBB invites community to take part in Secure Your ID Day shred event
BBB encourages local residents to bring up to three boxes or bags of sensitive documents to be shredded on-site to lessen the risk of identity theft in our area.
According to the FTC’s 2020 Consumer Sentinel Network Report, identity theft was the most common scam in Virginia, with more than 15,500 identity theft scams reported.
BBB is advising consumers and small businesses alike to attend this free community service event and take an important step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of their sensitive documents. The document shredding rule of thumb: If you don’t need it, dispose of it responsibly. Participates can bring up to 3 boxes or bags of personal documents to be shredded. All collected documents will be properly destroyed and recycled by Commonwealth Document Management, Inc.
“This is largely a crime of access,” said Julie Wheeler, President & CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia. “Our goal is to make the information less accessible and empower people to be their own first line of defense against identity theft.”
In 2019, BBB shredded 20,300 pounds of personal documents and served 466 vehicles during the annual shred event. BBB has been hosting Secure Your ID Day since 2008, with BBBs across the country coming together to protect consumers from the growing threat of identity theft.
BBB Secure Your ID Day details
Who: Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia with partners Commonwealth Document Management, Inc. and Salem Civic Center
What: Free, on-site shredding of up to 3 boxes or bags of documents
Where: Salem Civic Center, parking lot
When: Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 8 Am – 11 AM
Documents you might consider shredding:
Personal documents. Be cautious of documents containing information such as your Social Security number, birthday, banking information, and passwords or PINs.
Check your credit cards. Any document having to do with current or expired credit cards can be sensitive. Think of receipts, credit offers and applications, bank statements, utility bills, sales receipts (unless related to warranties, taxes, or insurance), and other similar documents.
Be prepared for tax season. Be mindful of documents you may need for tax reasons. Secure Your ID Day is for documents and materials that are no longer necessary.
- Paycheck Stubs can be shredded after being reconciled with your W-2 form and taxes are paid.
- Real estate records of improvement should be saved for the length of homeownership.
- Other tax records like tax-related receipts and canceled checks can be shredded after 7 years.
Documents that you should permanently save:
- Income Tax Returns and payment checks
- Deeds, mortgages, bills of sales, legal correspondence, and plan and trust agreements
- Birth certificates, adoption papers, social security cards, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, citizenship papers, passports, education records, death certificates, and military service records
If you have fell victim to identity theft, follow these steps:
- Report it to the FTC – IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft online or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.
- File a report with local police as well as the police department where the identity theft occurred. Keep all related documents, reports, and records of your case.
- Report it to Better Business Bureau – BBB Scam Tracker to report a scam online or call 540-342-3455.
- Report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – ic3.gov to report identity theft.
- Place a “fraud alert” and/or freeze your credit reports – Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Let them know you have been a victim of identity theft and ask questions—including what protection is provided and if there are any costs—to determine whether a fraud alert or freeze is best for your situation.
- Notify all credit grantors and financial institutions – Check the status of your accounts and ask if there has been any unauthorized activity or if new accounts have been opened. You may need to close accounts, create new passwords, and change your PINs.
- Monitor your credit – Check your credit report. Under the Fair & Accurate Credit Transaction Act, consumers are entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the credit bureaus. The only authorized source is AnnualCreditReport.com (1-877-322-8228).