This Saturday, April 16, Better Business Bureau and local partners are offering free document shredding and cell phone recycling. Consumers and businesses can bring up to three boxes or bags of unneeded sensitive documents and then watch as paperwork is securely shredded.
BBB calls this event Secure Your ID Day. It’s part of a nationwide effort to help people protect their identities by destroying outdated files and other unneeded paperwork.
The cost: nothing. It's free of charge for all consumers and businesses.
The risk to avoid: identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book:
- Alaskans filed 342 identity theft complaints in 2010.
- Oregonians filed 2,256 identity theft complaints in 2010.
- Washingtonians filed 4,646 identity theft complaints in 2010.
Nationally, identity theft was the CSN's number one complaint category in 2010, representing 19 percent of the overall complaints.
The value: priceless. Enjoy peace of mind knowing those sensitive documents won't end up in the hands of identity thieves. Gather that pile of junk mail, receipts and old tax files, and mark your calendar for Saturday, April 16.
- Wasilla: Secure Your ID Day is at Wells Fargo, 1701 E Parks Hwy in Wasilla, Alaska. Shred Alaska will securely shred items on-the-spot for free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Beaverton: Secure Your ID Day, brought to you by Unitus Community Credit Union, is at 10580 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy in Beaverton, Ore. Shred-it will securely shred items for free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Kelso: Secure Your ID Day, brought to you by Dick Hannah Toyota, is happening at 2632 Coweeman Park Dr. in Kelso, Wash. Shred-it will securely shred items for free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Bellingham: Secure Your ID Day, brought to you by Criminal Data, is at Dewey Griffin Buick GMC Subaru: 1800 Iowa St. in Bellingham, Wash. Free shredding services will be provided by A-1 Shredding from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Don't forget to bring old, unwanted cell phones; phones will be recycled after data is wiped, courtesy of The Wireless Alliance. BBB is also collecting cell phones in Bellingham on behalf of the Whatcom Country Sheriff's Office and HopeLine. HopeLine donates refurbished phones, including free minutes, to victims of domestic violence.
Perhaps you’re wondering how long to keep those documents and exactly what should be shredded; BBB has a list of free resources at www.akorww.bbb.org/secure-your-id.