FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Identity theft was the most-reported scam in 2021 for Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Northern Indiana. To prevent scammers from getting their hands on sensitive information, BBB invites the community to bring those private documents to Shred Day.
The event provides secure shredding Saturday at Purdue Fort Wayne from 9 a.m. to noon, or until the truck is full. The event is free, and $5 donations are accepted for the BBB’s Charitable and Educational Fund.
Bring up to five boxes of documents to be shredded. Binders cannot be accepted but staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy disks can be shredded. Head to parking lot 12 near the back of PFW’s campus for the drive-up service.
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
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 online. It’s 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.
The event is sponsored by 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.