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BBB to Host Shred Day in Worcester

Friday, October 19, 2018

 

BBB to host Shred Day

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central New England will hold Shred Day as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Shred Day will take place on Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Bay State Savings Bank on Grafton Street in Worcester.

Shred Day

The event will offer free document shredding to help consumers and businesses protect personal information.

“Spend some time in the coming weeks taking stock of the documents in your possession. As you do, keep only what you need. This reduces your exposure to identity theft. Next, you should secure the sensitive documents you decide to keep in a secure place such as a lock box, safety deposit box, or safe.

Identity Thefts

According to the BBB, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in 2017, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. That’s more than double the number of victims in 2010. A total of $16.8 billion was stolen in 2017, and more Social Security numbers were used in identity theft cases than credit card numbers for the first time.

The BBB offers the following tips on shredding and identity theft.

Knowing the different types of identity theft can help you decide which documents to keep and which to shred.

Social Security Number ID theft – A thief uses your Social Security number to assume your identity for a wide range of criminal behavior. Receiving mail with the wrong last four digits of your SSN, wrong name, or wrong address is a sign your SSN has been stolen.

Medical ID theft – A thief steals your personal information, such as your Medicare ID or health insurance member number, to get medical services or to issue fraudulent billing to your health insurance provider.

Tax ID theft – A thief uses your Social Security number to falsely file tax returns with the IRS or state government.

Bank Account ID theft – A thief uses your checking account number and forges your signature to complete fraudulent bank transactions or makes counterfeit checks in your name using a computer.

Mail Identity theft – A thief steals your postal mail to retrieve financial account information to make purchases or credit card promotions to open up new credit cards. They could also change the card/accountholder’s address on statements or bills.

Cell Phone Service theft – A thief thieves uses your personal information to establish new cell phone service in your name or make unauthorized calls that seem to come from and are billed to your cell phone.

Anyone can be a target of identity theft, but seniors and children are extra vulnerable.

Senior ID theft - ID theft schemes that target seniors. Seniors are vulnerable to ID theft because they are in more frequent contact with medical professionals who get their medical insurance information, or caregivers and staff at long-term care facilities that have access to personal information or financial documents.

Child ID theft - Children’s IDs are vulnerable because the theft may go undetected for many years. By the time they are adults, the damage has already been done to their identities.

 

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