Fall shred-a-thons planned across NC to fight ID theft

Bring old financial records you no longer need to one of more than 25 shred-a-thons planned across the state this fall, Attorney General Roy Cooper urged North Carolina consumers today.

Between now and Thanksgiving, 26 free shredding events are planned across North Carolina. Three shred-a-thons are scheduled for this weekend in Greensboro (Guilford County), Asheville (Buncombe County), and Winston-Salem (Forsyth County). Shred-a-thons are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks in Goldsboro, Smithfield, Kinston, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Havelock, Onslow, Flat Rock, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Stallings, Hickory, Hillsborough, Hendersonville, Statesville, River Bend, Pineville, New Bern, Gastonia and Cary. Multiple events are planned for some cities.

“Even in today’s age of hacking and high-tech theft, one of the easiest ways for a criminal to find your personal information is by simply going through your trash.,” Cooper said. “Shredding old documents is a great way to protect your credit and your good name.”

A complete list of shred-a-thon locations, dates, times and event sponsors is available at www.ncdoj.gov.

The shred-a-thons are sponsored by a number of groups, including Cooper’s office, the Better Business Bureau, credit unions, shredding companies and local civic groups, law enforcement and media. Consumers can protect themselves from identity theft by bringing pre-approved credit card offers, old bills, out-of-date account statements and other documents that include personal information to any of the shred-a-thons.

More shredding events are being planned for upcoming months and will also be posted at www.ncdoj.gov. The Attorney General’s Office also shares information about upcoming shred-a-thons via Facebook and Twitter. Local groups that would like tips on how to organize shred-a-thons in their communities can contact the Attorney General’s Office for help at Outreach@ncdoj.gov.

“Destroying old financial documents and unused credit card applications makes it that much harder for a criminal to steal your identity and run up debts in your name,” Cooper said.

For more protection from identity theft, Cooper also suggests the following tips:

·         Guard your personal information. Don’t carry your Social Security card, and give out your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary. Never share your SSN or other personal financial information with anyone you don’t know who calls, texts, or emails you, no matter who they claim to be. Legitimate companies will not ask for your personal information this way.

·         Check your credit reports regularly.You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus. To get your free report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. To track your credit throughout the year, request a free report from a different credit bureau every four months.

·         Consider a free security freeze.Guard against ID theft by placing a freeze on your credit reports online for free. Seniors and victims of identity theft can also freeze their credit by telephone or mail for free. Placing security freezes on your credit prevents identity thieves from opening new accounts or taking out credit cards and loans in your name. Detailed information about how to place a free security freeze is available at www.ncdoj.gov.

·         Stop pre-approved credit card applications.Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visit www.optoutprescreen.com to stop pre-approved credit card applications that an ID thief could steal and use to get credit in your name.

Article source: http://www.jdnews.com/jdnewstream/fall-shred-a-thons-planned-across-nc-to-fight-id-theft-1.385190

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