5 on Your Side

5 on Your Side: Shred-a-Thon

Posted July 21, 2011

Get rid of personal papers without risk for FREE.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 23rd . Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Office will sponsor a Shred-A-Thon from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Method Child Development Center located at 900 Trailwood Drive in Raleigh. You can bring everything from pre-approved credit card offers, old bills, out-of-date account statements and any other documents that include personal information. It can help keep you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Some other ways to protect yourself against I-D theft according to Cooper:

  • Don’t share private information with telemarketers or respond to phishing emails. If you get a telemarketing call or an email that asks for your personal financial information, don’t share it. Only share this information if you initiate the call or visit a company’s secure website.
  • Watch your mail. Call 1(888)5-OPT-OUT to stop pre-approved credit card applications. Shred incoming mail you don’t plan to keep, especially monthly statements and applications for credit. Place outgoing mail in a secure mailbox such as official blue postal boxes. And if bills don’t show up when you expect them to, contact the company immediately to let them know.
  • Check your credit. Check your credit report frequently to catch identity theft early. 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 keep track of your credit throughout the year, request a free report from a different credit bureau every four months.
  • Keep your Social Security Number secure. Memorize your number and leave your Social Security card in a safe place at home rather than in your wallet. Give your Social Security Number out only when necessary. Ask why your SSN is needed, who will have access to it, and how it will be kept confidential.
  • Check your checks. Remove private information such as your driver’s license number from your checks. That way, a lost or stolen checkbook won’t give a criminal everything he or she needs to steal your identity. While retailers do need your driver’s license number to process your check, you’re better protected if they have to ask for your ID to verify your name, address and even your signature.
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About this Blog:

In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.