The Better Business Bureau (BBB) will expand its annual Secure Your ID Day to two days this weekend: Friday, Oct. 16 at Scenic Community Credit Union (located at 4503 Hixson Pike) and Saturday, Oct. 17 at Lee Corners (located at the intersection of Lee Highway and Highway 153).
The BBB is encouraging consumers and small businesses to attend the event, and take a key step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of sensitive paper documents. BBB staff will also be on site to provide advice and tips for identity theft protection.
“Properly destroying documents that include information you don’t want in the hands of crooks is an important first step in fighting identity theft, but it doesn’t end there,” said Jim Winsett, BBB president. “That’s why BBB experts will be on hand offering important advice and simple steps everyone can take, both online and off, to prevent ID theft in their daily lives.”
In 2014 alone, 13 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $21 billion.
Businesses and individuals in the Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia communities can bring up to three boxes or bags of documents to be shredded. They should remove documents to be shredded from binders, but can leave staples and paper clips alone.
During two nationwide Secure Your ID Days in 2014, BBB helped individuals and small businesses at more than 112 sites across the country shred three million pounds of sensitive documents — all for free.
For more information on Secure Your ID Day and identity theft prevention measures for both consumers and businesses, visit www.chattanooga.bbb.org.
“Identity theft is largely a crime of access,” said Winsett. “Our goal here is to make the information less accessible and empower people to be their own first line of defense.”