2nd annual Shred Day set

by Cristin Parker cristin@thecherokeean.com

Odds are you or someone you know has been affected by identity theft.

Based on data garnered from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), reports of fraud and identity theft in Texas are up 122 percent as of July this year.

Nationally, the FTC has registered 144,727 reports of fraud costing victims $93 million -- a median loss of $263 per person. And just because you’re not online, doesn’t mean you’re safe.

“Paper breaches still happen,” President and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center Eva Casey Velasquez said. “People still steal mail. People still go through the garbage.”

The city of Jacksonville is teaming up with the Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas, Kelly Community Federal Credit Union and Ark-La-Tex Shredding to hold their annual Shred Day to give citizens a chance to dispose of any paperwork that might include sensitive data – and it’s free!

The annual “Shred Day” will be held 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce St. in Jacksonville This is the second year the event has been held in Jacksonville.

“We want to give businesses and people the opportunity to safely discard any documents that contain personal information,” said Coleman Swierc, Communications Manager for BBB serving Central East Texas. “This is a quick and easy way to make sure your information is not compromised and we are so happy to offer the services to consumers and businesses in and around the Jacksonville area.”

The services are provided free and attendees are encouraged to bring paper documents that contain personal and/or financial information to be destroyed.

Organizers request that attendees bring their documents in plastic bags. Cardboard boxes will not be accepted.

Last year’s Jacksonville Shred Day saw more than 120 vehicles and nearly 8,000 pounds destroyed.

Shredder trucks and volunteers will be on hand to assist participants and hand out information on identity theft protection. Volunteers will be using recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

All attendees must remain in their vehicles during the event.

The BBB Serving Central East Texas is part of an expansive network of BBBs across North America that collaborate to produce Secure Your ID Day events. The program is a BBB-branded identity theft, fraud prevention and educational initiative that features on-site document destruction and distribution of identity protection tips and resources to local communities.

For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust.

In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.