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

May 1, 2014

-ID Theft is Nation’s #1 Complaint to FTC, for Third Consecutive Year-

Milwaukee, Wis. – On Saturday, May 10th, 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 three years.
The event will be held at Layton State Bank, 10427 W. Lincoln Avenue, from 9 am to 11:30 am. There is a limit of three boxes per car. Layton State Bank, Strongbox Document Destruction, LLC., and ProShred Security are co-sponsoring the event.

In 2013, there were 3,635 reported cases of identity theft in Wisconsin, with 1,444 of those complaints coming from the metropolitan Milwaukee area, according to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report.

In Wisconsin, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft at 43 percent, followed by credit card fraud (13 percent), phone or utilities fraud (11 percent), bank fraud (6 percent), employment-related fraud (4 percent) loan fraud (3 percent), “other” (21 percent) and attempted identity theft (7 percent).

Those aged 20-29 remain the most heavily targeted group, making up 20 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CNS, directly followed by those aged 30-39 (19 percent), those aged 40-49 (18 percent), and those aged 50-59 (17 percent).

Shredding personal information is a great way to minimize your chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. 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 documents responsibly.

“BBB is happy to give people the opportunity to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal documents free of charge,” said Ran Hoth, CEO and President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “Identity theft is a serious crime, and largely a crime of access. Our goal is to make the information less accessible to thieves and empower people to be their own first line of defense. Shredding personal documents is an important first step in identity theft protection.”

The BBB’s shredding event is part of a larger, national shredding event hosted by BBB offices through the United States. This local, educational event is presented by the BBB Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc. In addition to the event in Milwaukee, the BBB will host a shredding event in Madison on May 3rd and in Appleton on May 17th.

As the result of shredding events nationwide in 2013, BBBs helped individuals and businesses at sites across the country shred 3 million pounds of sensitive documents – all for free.

For more information including a list of items that should be shredded, go to http://www.bbb.org/wisconsin/shredfest/

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"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

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