Fall shred-a-thons planned to fight ID theft
Release date: 10/11/2012
AG Cooper encourages consumers to shred old records at one of 17 shredding events
Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper is urging North Carolina consumers to bring old financial records they no longer need to one of more than a dozen shred-a-thons planned across the state this fall.
Between today and Thanksgiving, 17 free shredding events are planned across North Carolina. A shred-a-thon is going on today at University Mall in Chapel Hill, and others are planned this weekend for Apex (Wake County) and Beaufort (Carteret County). Shred-a-thons are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Rocky Mount, Creedmoor, Summerfield, Mooresville, Statesville, Cornelius and Stallings. Multiple events are planned for some cities.
“Unfortunately, there are still low-tech thieves who will go through dumpsters searching for anything that contains personal information in order to steal your good name and use your credit,” Cooper said. “Shredding your old documents is the best way to protect yourself.”
The shred-a-thons are sponsored by a number of groups, including Cooper’s office, the Better Business Bureau, credit unions, shredding companies and local civic groups, law enforcement and media. Consumers can protect themselves from identity theft by bringing pre-approved credit card offers, old bills, out-of-date account statements and other documents that include personal information to any of the shred-a-thons.
More shredding events are being planned for upcoming months and will also be posted at www.ncdoj.gov
. The Attorney General’s Office also shared information about upcoming shred-a-thons via Facebook
. Local groups that would like tips on how to organize shred-a-thons in their communities can contact the Attorney General’s Office for help at Outreach@ncdoj.gov
“Shredding your unused credit card applications and out-of-date financial documents makes it that much harder for a criminal to steal your identity and run up debts in your name,” Cooper said.
For more protection from identity theft, Cooper also suggests the following tips:
- Guard your personal information. Don’t carry your Social Security card, and give out your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary. Never share your SSN or other personal financial information with anyone you don’t know who calls, texts, or emails you, no matter who they claim to be. Legitimate companies will not ask for your personal information this way.
- Check your credit reports regularly. You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus. To get your free report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. To track your credit throughout the year, request a free report from a different credit bureau every four months.
- Consider a free security freeze. Guard against ID theft by placing a freeze on your credit reports online for free. Seniors and victims of identity theft can also freeze their credit by telephone or mail for free. Placing security freezes on your credit prevents identity thieves from opening new accounts or taking out credit cards and loans in your name. Detailed information about how to place a free security freeze is available at www.ncdoj.gov.
- Stop pre-approved credit card applications. Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visit www.optoutprescreen.com to stop pre-approved credit card applications that an ID thief could steal and use to get credit in your name.
Media contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413