5 on Your Side

Free shred day Saturday

Posted October 13, 2009 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2009 4:05 p.m. EDT

Identity theft is one of the most organized and costly crimes of our time! One of the main ways thieves get the information they need to steal I-Ds: personal and financial documents many people just throw in the trash! So a solid way to help protect yourself is to SHRED that information before you toss it. This Saturday, October 17th, the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina is making it easier by hosting a FREE shredding event. Which documents should you shred, when?  Here’s advice from the BBB:

Canceled checks
Those with no long-term significance for tax or other purposes can be destroyed after one year. But those that support tax returns, such as charitable contributions or tax payments, should be held for at least seven years—long enough to cover the six-year tax assessment period. Canceled checks, receipts or documents related to a home purchase or sale, renovations or other improvements to owned property should be kept indefinitely.

Deposit, ATM, credit card and debit card receipts
Save these until the transaction appears on your statement and you’ve verified that the information is accurate.

Credit card and bank account statements
Those with no tax or other long-term significance can be discarded after a year. If you bank provides a detailed annual statement, keep that and shred the monthly statements.

Credit card contracts and other loan agreements
Keep as long as the account is active in case you have a dispute with the lender.

Documentation of a purchase or sale of stocks, bonds and other investments
Keep as long as you own the investment and then seven years beyond that time. Monthly retirement and investment account statements can be shredded annually.

Paycheck stubs
Shred yearly.

Utility or monthly bills
Keep for a year.

The BBB shredding event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m at Ridgewood Shopping Center on Wade Avenue in Raleigh. You can bring up to three bags or boxes of documents.


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.