BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) -The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana is hosted their 13th Annual Shred Fest Saturday, September 19.
More than 545 people showed up at BRPD for the better business bureau of south central Louisiana’s 13th annual shred fest. People were able to shred their important documents for free in order to protect themselves from identity theft. They were also able to drop off food donations for the greater Baton Rouge food bank.
The better business bureau filled up two whole trucks of your documents to be shredded. They will have Another shred event in spring of 2021.
The event is free and open to the public from 9am-12pm in the Baton Rouge Police Department Parking Lot located on Airline Highway.
The BBB says this event allows people to, “Shred their important documents in a safe way, so they do not fall victim to scammers or identity theft.”
Reasons to shred:
- Many identity theft victims can trace the theft to something that was stolen from their own possession.
- Treat your personal information like the valuable commodity it is.
- Make sure you shred any documents that have your bank account information, Social Security or Social Insurance number, or other personal information.
- These include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms and billing statements from utilities and phone service.
- Cut up expired credit and debit cards, making sure to cut through the numbers, before you dispose of them.
The following items should be shredded:
1. Bank and Credit Card Statements – Keep these documents out of identity thieves hands by signing up for paperless statements that will be emailed to you each month. If you have any old statements shredding them is the best way to keep them safe.
2. Tax Records – These documents typically include all the information needed to steal your identity: social security number, birthday, full name and address.
3. Medical Records and Bills – Like tax records these documents typically include either your full social security number or at least the last four digits, your birthday, address and your full name.
4. Pay Stubs – These documents include plenty of personal information but with the addition of your banking company. Scammers can you use this information to access your accounts and take your money.
5. Junk Mail – While most of us likely don’t review junk mail too closely, we probably should. Preapproved credit card and loan offers can be filled out in your name and collected by a thief. Some organizations like AARP send out preapproved membership applications and often may already have records including your personal information that thieves can subsequently access.
Shredding important documents can help people avoid identity theft scams, according to the BBB. The non-profit organization says scammers can take your information and make false applications for credit cards or withdraw money from your bank account.
The BBB says this type of scam can take a while to detect because scammers typically change the billing address for new account, “You may not notice what is happening until the scammer has already inflicted substantial damage on your assets, credit, and reputation.”
How to spot identity theft:
- Look for unexplained withdrawals, charges, and accounts.
- Check your credit reports regularly for unauthorized inquiries and accounts
Protect yourself against identity theft:
- Be careful with your personal information
- Secure personal documents at home
- Be alert to phishing attempts
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