Chicago, IL – June 19, 2012 - The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, in conjunction with various government agencies, invites consumers and businesses to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial or confidential documents for FREE at the annual "Shred It and Forget It" Shredder Day at the United Center Parking Lot E, on Wood St. between Madison and Warren Blvd, in Chicago from 9AM-2PM on Saturday, June 23. Free electronics recycling will also be available.
Crime statistics show that last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, costing them roughly $5 billion.
Hosts of the annual event include the Better Business Bureau along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police Department, FBI, FTC, Illinois Attorney General's Office, and United States Postal Inspection Service. Shredding and recycling services will be provided by Acme Document Destruction, Beaver Shredding Inc., Chicago Shred Authority, Cintas Document Management, Shred-It, Inc., ShredStation Express, and Vintage Tech Recyclers.
As of January 1, 2012 the Electronic Products Recycling & Reuse Act requires people to recycle their electronic devices including televisions, monitors, printers and computers, rather than allow them to be disposed of in a landfill.
TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles are among the types of electronic equipment that will be collected for recycling at the event. To learn more about the electronics you can recycle at this event, visit www.chicagoshreds.com
Participants are asked to limit the material they want shred to 10 boxes of documents per vehicle. There will also be free home shredders given away during the event every 30 minutes. You can register online to win a free shredder at www.chicagoshreds.com
Representatives from the participating organizations will be available at "Shred It and Forget It" on June 23rd to offer guidelines for shredding documents and to answer questions about how to keep your personal information safe.
Here are some suggestions for deciding how long to keep personal financial information:
- A good rule of thumb is to keep all tax returns and supporting documentation for seven years. The IRS has three years from your tax-filing date to audit, and has six years to challenge a claim.
- Keep credit card statements for seven years if tax related expenses are documented.
- Keep paycheck stubs for one year. Be sure to cross reference the paycheck stub to the W-2 form.
- Be sure to keep bank statements and canceled checks for at least one year.
- Bills should be kept for one year or until the canceled check has been returned. Receipts for large ticket items should be kept for insurance purposes.
- Home improvement receipts should be kept for six years or permanently.
- Items such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, titles or wills should be kept permanently in a safety deposit box.
- If you are going to dispose of documents with sensitive information, be sure to SHRED!
More information about the "Shred It and Forget It" Shredder Day event can be found at www.chicagoshreds.com
For more information on how to protect your identity, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.