Shred Day Spreads Identity Theft Awareness

By: Kristin Gordon Email
By: Kristin Gordon Email

KILLEEN (October 27, 2012)-- The Better Business Bureau held a Shred Day event in Killeen Saturday to educate the public on identity theft and fraud prevention.

As drivers pulled into the First National Bank Texas they were greeted by volunteers who unloaded mounds of papers that contained sensitive information. When plastic containers reached their capacity, they were wheeled to a truck that lifted, dumped and shredded thousands of papers that would eventually end up at a recycling plant.

Those who brought old computers had the hard drive taken out and crushed while they watched. Unwanted electronics were also taken. "everything we except will be recycled," said Richard Kitterman, regional director BBB. "nothing will end up in a landfill including the cardboard boxes that you bring your documents in." According to Kitterman, all electronic devices will be disassembled, divided into groups and taken to a recycling plant in Denton.

According to Kitterman, each day when you open your mail, there is a lot of stuff that can go immediately into the shredder. Also, periodically go through your documents and files and get rid of paperwork that has aged to the point that they are no longer required for tax purposes. It is also wise to request a free copy of your credit report each year.

"A recent study showed that when an identity theft victim can identify their perpetrator, it turned out to be somebody they knew," said Kitterman. This information is also echoed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies. According to Federal Trade Commissions website, the top complaint in 2011, and the past twelve years, has been for identity theft.

"as a bank, the mission and intent of shred day really marries with what we do as a business," said Amanda Stephens, customer experience project manager First National Bank Texas. A fraud department is located within the bank so a customers has a place to go if they have an issue with a stolen debit card or think that someone has tapped into their account, said Stephens.

The Shred Day event was held from 9a.m. To 1p.m. but volunteers had to shut down the paper shredding lanes before noon since the trucks had reached their maximum storage. 14,000 pounds of paper was shredded, 9,000 pounds of electronic waste was taken, 600 pounds of cardboard was broken down, 65 hard drives were crushed, and 409 vehicles dropped off items.

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