Protect yourself against identity theft: Shred important documents

By: News Email
By: News Email

Most people make it easy for identity thieves, by throwing important documents into the trash. Thieves can also go through your mailbox to find the information they need to steal your money, ruin your credit, or worse. Sometimes they commit crimes under your name, leaving you with the criminal record.

The best way to ensure thieves don't get that information is to shred it. Some local residents were able to take advantage of a free service to protect them against identity theft Saturday.

Newschannel 7 teamed up with the Gilmore Services and the Better Business Bureau to host a shredding event at the Wal-Mart in Lynn Haven.

Residents had the opportunity to drop off up to 50-pounds of unneeded documents to be shredded and eventually recycled. Experts say shredding is the best method of protection against identity theft

“When we look at identity theft victims, they spend almost 300 hours on average trying to fix the damage done by the identity thieves. So anything we can do, take a couple minutes right now to destroy these documents, we'll save a lot of heartache in the long run," said Karen Szulczewski with the Better Business Bureau.

Florida is the number 1 state in the nation for identity theft. Bay County authorities investigated more than 700 cases last year.

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  • by Jenny at Mail Boss Location: Seattle, WA on Jul 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM
    It's much easier for thieves to steal your sensitive documents from your mailbox than the dump. Most victims of mail theft do not realize when their mail has been stolen. With the prevalence of mail-identity theft, residents need to use security locking mailboxes to protect their sensitive documents at the source: the curbside mailbox. In addition, never send sensitive documents (checks/bill payments) from a mailbox - bring them directly to the post office or use online bill pay - it's more secure. Finally shred, all sensitive documents (most of which come in your mailbox) before discarding them to thwart dumpster divers.
  • by Donald Location: Samson on Jul 17, 2011 at 06:02 PM
    Oh yeah, shred your important documents. What ? Are you crazy ? I have important documents like deeds , car titles, birth records. I think what you meant was shred documents you no longer need. Like old drivers licenses, old medical records or bills. Used checks. Anything that has your name, birth date , address, phone no#, social security # on it. Anything you don't need. All other needed documents need to be locked in a secure place.
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