Consumers need to do all they can to protect their identity, particularly in the wake of data breaches that have exposed millions of electronic records in recent months. On April 18th, four Connecticut state agencies are teaming up to help consumers shred unneeded documents and further protect their personal information.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, identity theft is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in the United States. It is also the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the 15th consecutive year.
“It’s true that a portion of this growing, widespread problem can be tied to data breaches we’ve seen in recent years,” Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said. “But while those major events do have broad repercussions, the day to day things that consumers can routinely do to protect themselves – like shredding personal documents — are crucial in preventing misuse of their personal information.”
The “CT Shreds” events will be held on Saturday, April 18th — rain or shine — from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at:
• Black Rock State Park, Watertown
• Mansfield Hollow State Park, Mansfield/Storrs
“When you place documents such as bank and credit card statements, ATM slips and paystubs in the trash, you build a goldmine for thieves who want to steal your hard-earned money,” said Department of Banking (DOB) Commissioner Jorge Perez. “Spring cleaning is an excellent the time to go through your files and properly dispose of documents containing your personal financial information.”
“This is a spring-cleaning event with an important safety benefit,” Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) Commissioner Katharine L. Wade said. “While tidying up around the home might make you feel good, keeping your confidential and personal information out of the hands of identity thieves can give you peace of mind. The Insurance Department is delighted we can help offer this free service to the public.”
Document shredding helps the environment as well, by recovering tons of paper that can be recycled into paper towels and other products.
“DEEP is pleased to host ‘CT Shreds’ at two of our state parks making it easy and convenient for people to shred and safely dispose of unnecessary documents,” said Robert Klee, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Spring is a great time to clean up the clutter, bring it all to one location, shred it, and be on your way – but we also encourage people to take the time to explore our state parks while they are there.”
Shredding unneeded bank and credit statements, ATM slips, medical records, health insurance reports and other documents can be time consuming on a personal home shredder, especially if a large stack has built up over several months. On Saturday, April 18th, consumers can bring up to three large trash bags or cartons of documents for shredding at either of the two locations.
More information about what will be accepted for shredding, and directions to the locations are posted on the agencies’ websites at:
- Free Document Destruction Leaves Watchdog Nation Founder Happy
- ID “Protection” CtWatchdog Security Log
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