FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Northern Indiana will host its free Shred Day on Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon at Purdue Fort Wayne, located at 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.
“In 2020, identity theft was BBB serving Northern Indiana’s most-reported scam. If bank account numbers, social security numbers or other sensitive information land in the hands of a scammer, identity theft could happen to you. Don’t leave it to chance – bring sensitive documents to BBB’s free Shred Day,” the BBB said.
Anyone wanting to participate can bring up to five boxes of documents to be securely shredded on-site. Binders cannot be accepted but staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy disks can be shredded, the BBB said.
Suggested documents to shred include:
- Bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills more than a year old
- Paid utility bills more than a month old
- Pre-approved credit card or loan solicitations
- ATM receipts
- Supporting tax documents more than seven years old
While the event is free to anyone, the BBB recommends donating $5 to the BBB’s Charitable and Educational Fund. The event is sponsored by 3Rivers Federal Credit Union and Wizard’s World.
In addition to shredding documents with sensitive personal data, the BBB offers the following tips to protect you and your family from identity thieves:
- Look for unexpected or unexplained withdrawals, charges and accounts.
- Review your bank, credit card, and other financial statements regularly when they become available. Keep track of when your bills are due. If you see activity you don’t recognize or stop receiving bills, statements, or other communication unexpectedly, that can be a red flag. This can happen when a scammer changes the address associated with your bank, card, or other services. Follow up on missing bills or strange charges immediately. Consider setting up alerts on your accounts so you are notified whenever a transaction is made.
- Check your credit reports for unauthorized inquiries or accounts.
- You can check your credit report, for free, with each of the major credit bureaus once per year at AnnualCreditReport.com. That is the only free credit reporting service authorized by the Federal Trade Commission. If you space those checks throughout the year, you can catch any strange activity before it spirals out of control.
- Practice good digital security.
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Make sure you don’t use the same passwords for multiple online accounts. Avoid common passwords and security questions, like your child’s name, birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, pet names, first car or hometown. Much of that information could be gathered from your (or a friend’s) social media.