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BBB To Hold Bi-Annual Free Shredding Event To Help Fight Identity Theft

Oct. 11, 2013

ID Theft is Nation’s #1 Complaint to FTC, Grew 46 percent in Wisconsin last year

On Saturday, October 19th, from 8:30 am - 11:00 am, the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin will host “ShredFest”, a free document shredding event that helps people protect themselves from identity theft, the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the last two years.

The event will be held at in the parking lot of the new Wisconsin BBB Offices at the Summit Credit Union Building at 10019 W. Greenfield Ave. in Milwaukee. There is a limit of three boxes per car. Summit Credit Union and Proshred Security are co-sponsors of this event.

In 2012, there were 4,055 reported cases of identity theft in Wisconsin, according to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report (a 46% jump from 2011). According to the report, Wisconsin ranks 31st in the nation for the most reported cases of identity theft per 100,000 residents (up six spots). Milwaukee ranks 98th.

In Wisconsin, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft at 46 percent, followed by credit card fraud (15 percent), phone or utilities fraud (8 percent), bank fraud (6 percent), employment-related fraud (4 percent) and loan fraud (2 percent).

Those aged 20 – 29 remain the most heavily targeted group, making up 21 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CSN.

Shredding personal information is an important first step in identity theft protection. In fact, most identity theft cases occur after personal information has been lost or stolen, which is why the BBB encourages consumers to dispose of unneeded personal documents responsibly.

“We invite consumers to join us in protecting their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial, confidential and business documents free of charge,” said Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau. “Identity theft is a serious crime. Many people don’t realize how easy it is for criminals to get hold of our personal information. Shredding personal documents is an important first step in identity theft protection.”

The BBB’s shredding event is part of a larger, national shredding day hosted by BBB offices throughout the United States. This local, educational event is presented by the BBB Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc.

For more information, including a records retention schedule and a list of items that should be shredded, go to www.wisconsin.bbb.org/shredfest.

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