Fall shred-a-thons planned to fight ID theft
Release date: 9/9/2011
AG Cooper encourages consumers to shred old records instead of throwing them away
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.
“If your old bills and bank statements have piled up, don’t just throw them in the trash where they could fall into the wrong hands,” Cooper said. “Shred old documents that contain your personal financial information to protect your credit and your good name from identity thieves.”
Between this weekend and Thanksgiving, 13 free shredding events are planned across North Carolina. Shred-a-thons are scheduled to take place in Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Asheville, Chapel Hill, Rocky Mount, Cary, Burlington, Garner, Cornelius and Stallings.
Consumers can protect themselves from identity theft by bringing pre-approved credit card offers, old bills, out-of-date account statements and other documents that include personal information to any of the shred-a-thons.
The shred-a-thons are sponsored by a number of groups, including Cooper’s office, the Better Business Bureau, banks, shredding companies and local civic groups, law enforcement and media. A complete list
of shred-a-thon locations, dates, times and event sponsors is available at www.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“Shredding your unused credit card applications and out-of-date financial documents makes it that much harder for a criminal to steal your identity and run up debts in your name,” Cooper said.
More shredding events are being planned for upcoming months and will also be posted at www.ncdoj.gov
. Local groups that would like tips on how to organize shred-a-thons in their communities can contact the Attorney General’s Office at Outreach@ncdoj.gov
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 you 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. North Carolina is the first state in the nation to require all credit monitoring services to tell you how to get credit reports for free.
- Consider a free security freeze. Guard against ID theft by freezing 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 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.
Contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413