ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI)- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is hosting an event in two locations this Saturday to provide St. Louis residents the opportunity to shred their old documents. Consumers can shred up to three boxes of documents from 8 a.m. to noon.
Tracy Hardgrove with the BBB stopped by the Fox 2 studio to discuss the event and why it is important for people to shred their old documents. Shredding outdated documents can limit your exposure to identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission said Missouri consumers filed more identity theft complaints per capita last year than any other state; Illinois ranked fifth. Officials recommend shredding documents that contain financial information, account numbers, pins, birth dates or social security numbers.
Shred Day with the Better Business Bureau:
Saint Louis Galleria
Interstate 64 and Brentwood Blvd.
2222 Troy Rd. Edwardsville, IL 62025
Tips by the BBB for securing your information:
- Shred statements and applications you get in the mail that you don`t want to keep. These include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms, billing statements from utilities and phone service.
- Cut up expired credit and debit cards. Make sure you cut through the numbers.
- Protect your social security number, all account numbers and passwords. Don`t carry these numbers in your wallet. Give out personal identifiers only when absolutely necessary. Beware of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls if someone asks for the numbers.
- Secure personal documents at home. If you have roommates, employ outside help or have contractors in your home, make sure personal documents are in a safe place - preferably under lock and key - and not lying out in plain sight.
- Minimize personal information printed on checks. You don`t need to include your social security number, driver`s license or phone number.
- Monitor bank and credit card accounts for unauthorized transactions. Crooks may start with small transactions to see if you notice.
- Pay attention to billing cycles. If bills don`t arrive on time, follow up with your creditors.
- Don`t create obvious passwords. Avoid using your birth date, child`s name or birth date, mother`s maiden name or the last four digits of your social security number.
- If you conduct business online, use your own computer and a secure internet connection. A public computer or public wi-fi network is less secure.
- Never use email to communicate sensitive personal information. Don`t respond to emails asking to verify your personal information and identifiers. Neither your bank, credit card company, online payment system nor the IRS will call or email asking you for confidential information. They already have it