On Saturday, April 20, “ShredFest” – a free document shredding event that helps people protect themselves from identity theft, the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the last two years, will be held at Associated Bank on 2550 W. Mason Street, from 8:30 – 11 am.
This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) Foundation. Associated Bank and Fox Cities Records Services are co-sponsoring the event.
In 2012, there were 4,055 reported cases of identity theft in Wisconsin, according to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report (a 46% jump from 2011). According to the report, Wisconsin ranks 31st (up six spots) in the nation for the most reported cases of identity theft per 100,000 residents.
In Wisconsin, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft at 46 percent, followed by credit card fraud (15 percent), phone or utilities fraud (8 percent), bank fraud (6 percent), employment-related fraud (4 percent) and loan fraud (2 percent).
Those aged 20 – 29 remain the most heavily targeted group, making up 21 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CSN.
Shredding personal information is an important first step in identity theft protection. In fact, most identity theft cases occur after personal information has been lost or stolen, which is why the BBB encourages consumers to dispose of unneeded personal documents responsibly.
This is a perfect opportunity for consumers to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial, confidential and business documents free of charge,” said Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau. “Identity theft is a serious crime. Many people don’t realize how easy it is for criminals to get hold of our personal information. Shredding personal documents is an important first step in identity theft protection.”
The BBB’s shredding event is part of a larger, national shredding day hosted by BBB offices throughout the United States. In addition to the event in Green Bay, the BBB will be hosting shredding events in Madison and Milwaukee.
There is a limit of three boxes per car.
For more information, including a records retention schedule and a list of items that should be shredded, go to www.wisconsin.bbb.org/shredfest.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 920-734-4352 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.