CLEVELAND - The Better Business Bureau will hold two simultaneous Secure Your ID Day events on October 22. Residents and small businesses are encouraged to attend and take a key step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of their sensitive paper documents, as well as CDs and floppy discs.
"Properly destroying documents that carry information you don't want getting into the hands of crooks is an important first step to fighting identity theft," said BBB President David Weiss. "That's why BBB experts will also be on hand offering important advice and simple steps everyone can take to prevent ID theft in their daily lives, both online and off."
Last year alone, 8.1 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $37 billion, according to a 2011 report from Javelin Strategy and Research. Despite the drop in instances from 2009, those who suffered from identity theft last year faced higher consequences, the study found. The average out-of-pocket loss nearly doubled, going from $387 to $631 per incident.
BBB Event Details
Who: Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland with local partners NewsChannel5, Rad Air Complete Car Care, All Ohio Secure Shred and Consumer Credit Counseling Service/Apprisen Financial Advocates
What: Free on-the-spot document shredding and tips and resources for protecting your identity
When: Saturday, October 22, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Rad Air Complete Car Care, 12922 Pearl Rd., Strongsville and 27051 Detroit Rd., Westlake
You can bring up to three boxes or bags of documents to be shredded and take home the tips and resources you need to help protect yourself. Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders, but staples, paper clips, CDs and floppy discs are okay to be shredded.
As the result of two nationwide Secure Your ID Days in 2010 alone, BBB helped individuals and small businesses at more than 130 sites across the country shred 1.4 million pounds of sensitive documents for free.
"Identity theft is largely a crime of access," added Weiss. "Our goal here is to make the information less accessible and empower people to be their own first line of defense against identity theft. With community-based BBBs across North America collaborating simultaneously, we'll have a tremendous coast-to-coast presence that will reach a lot of people and, hopefully, prevent a lot of theft."
For more information on BBB "Secure Your ID Day" and identity theft prevention measures for both consumers and businesses, visit www.Cleveland.bbb.or/secure_id.