According to a study conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, identity fraud hit a record high with 15.4 million U.S. victims in 2016, up 16 percent from 2015. Considering the rising numbers of identity theft, it is important to safeguard your personal information in as many ways as possible. Better Business Bureau’s “Shred Day” offers one easy way to safely dispose of sensitive but outdated materials.
This year’s BBB Shred Day, held in conjunction with the Consumer Fraud Task Force, is Saturday, May 6, at Office Depot in Columbia, MO. 101 S Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203.
Consumers can shred documents from 9 a.m. to noon. BBB asks that consumers use bags or boxes that can be shredded along with papers. Consumers will receive information on identity theft protection. American Document Destruction is donating the shredding service.
“Shredding outdated personal documents can limit your exposure to ID theft,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO. “ID theft schemes are becoming more and more sophisticated, and vigilance in handling your personal information is now a priority.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, over 8,000 Missouri consumers filed ID theft complaints in 2016. At 136.1 complaints per 100,000 residents, Missouri ranked eighth in the nation for ID theft complaints. Illinois consumers filed over 17,000 ID theft complaints in 2016. At 138 complaints per 100, 000 residents, Illinois ranked fifth in the nation for ID theft complaints. Missouri residents filed a total of 51,342 complaints about identity theft, fraud and other issues while 91,489 complaints came from Illinois.