Local News

State sponsors free shredding events to protect against ID theft

Posted April 9, 2010 2:41 p.m. EDT

Credit Cards

Dozens of free shredding events are scheduled across the state over the next few weeks to allow residents to safely dispose of old financial records and other paper materials with personal information, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday.

“If you’re doing some spring cleaning, don’t just toss out documents that include your personal financial information,” Cooper said in a statement. “A trash bag of old bank statements and bills can be a jackpot for an identity thief.”

Events will be held between April 10 and May 1 in 21 North Carolina cities and towns, including Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Cary, Asheville, Hickory, Fayetteville, Elizabeth City, Morganton, Kannapolis, Statesville and Calabash.

A complete list of dates, times and locations was posted on the Attorney General's Web site.

Cooper offered the following tips to prevent identity theft:

  • Don’t carry your Social Security card. Give out your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary.
  • Never share your SSN or other personal financial information with anyone you don’t know, no matter who they claim to be.
  • Legitimate companies will not ask for your Social Security number or bank account information over the phone or via e-mail.
  • Check your credit reports regularly. To get your free report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.
  • Consider a free security freeze. Placing security freezes on your credit prevents identity thieves from opening new accounts or taking out credit cards and loans in your name.
  • Stop pre-approved credit card applications. Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.