A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Free ‘Shred Fest 2016’ designed to help Lexington-area consumers avoid risk of identity theft

As part of its ongoing efforts to help consumers avoid falling victim to identity theft, AARP Kentucky is joining with the Better Business Bureau, the Bluegrass Area Development District, the Lexington Fayette-County Urban Government (Solid Waste Management), and the Kentucky Attorney General to sponsor “Shred Fest 2016” – an event to provide free shredding of personal financial documents and other sensitive records.

The Shred Fest will be held on Saturday, April 30, at the Home Depot side parking lot located on 2397 Richmond Road. Shredding service begins at 10 a.m., and will continue until 2 p.m., or until the on-site shredding service trucks reach full capacity.

AARP shred fest

“Financial fraud causes millions of dollars in losses each year,” said Gerina Whethers, Director of the Office of Senior Protection in the Office of the Attorney General. “With the tax-filing season behind us, we’re encouraging taxpayers to do a spring cleaning of their old financial documents and other records.”

“Identity thieves routinely search through dumpsters and trash cans, looking to find confidential information. OurShred Fest 2016 event will allow consumers to discard this paperwork in a safe and secure manner,” said Gina Hanyes-Sanders, AARP Kentucky volunteer.

The Lexington event is one of dozens of Shred Fest 2016events scheduled for communities nationwide, during Money Smart Week April 23-30, with support from the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the AARP Foundation.

To avoid having your sensitive information compromised, security experts recommend shredding of the following types of materials:

· Old documents: Papers that carry your Social Security number, birth date, signature, account numbers, passwords or PIN numbers.
· Banking: Canceled or unused checks. Shred deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts, once you receive your monthly statements.
· Credit Cards: Preapproved credit card applications and incentive/gift checks from credit card companies.
· Medical: unneeded medical bills.
· Investments: Investment account statements.
· Obsolete ID cards: Expired driver’s licenses, medical insurance cards and passports.

Shred Fest 2016 events are being held in at least 37 states next week.

And for those consumers who use a home shredder, experts also recommend the use of a micro-cut model. Tests have shown that the scraps of paper from a straight or cross-cut shredder can be reassembled by identity thieves. With a micro-cut shredder, the paper is rendered into impossible-to-reassemble debris.

More information on how to keep yourself safe from identity theft fraud, and alerts regarding other types of scams, is available from the Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork.

From AARP Kentucky Communications

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