Would you believe that every 2 seconds, someone’s identity is stolen? Hard to imagine but very true. Combating fraud is a priority for AARP New York and that is why we have launching Operation: Stop Scams, a series of shredding events throughout New York State starting Monday April 24, 2017 thru Friday, May 5, 2017 that will allow consumers to discard their paperwork in a safe and secure manner.

In a recent report, AARP found that 43% of 50+ voters in New York State or someone they know have encountered a fraud or scam in the past 5 years;  56% are extremely to very worried about becoming a victim of identity theft, which was tops among all types of fraud.

Identity thieves routinely search through dumpsters and trash cans, looking to find confidential information.  One way to keep your identity safe is to shred documents containing personal information. This includes bank and credit card statements, tax forms, and medical bills. 41% of respondents age 50+ shred documents once a week or more.

“Identity theft is one of the most prevalent types of fraud encountered by people age 50 and over,” said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP New York.  “By doing something as simple as shredding their documents, New Yorkers can safeguard their identity along with their hard earned credit rating and retirement savings from unscrupulous thieves.  AARP New York is pleased to see the success of this joint effort with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and we thank him for his leadership in providing this vital service to New Yorkers,” added Finkel.

In 2015 alone, New York residents registered more than 100,000 complaints about fraud with the Federal Trade Commission.

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 PINs.
  • 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.

Operation Stop Scams events are being held across New York State, find one near you. 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 safe from identity theft fraud, and alerts regarding other types of scams, is available from the Fraud Watch Network.

Join us for us a free shredding event. Each person can bring up to three bags of personal documents. Residential documents only. Trucks will stay on site for the time scheduled or until the truck fills up:

New York City:
Manhattan: April 24th, 1-5pm, Penn South 26th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues
Manhattan: April 29th, 9am-noon, Esplanade Gardens 2569 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., New York, NY  10039
Brooklyn: April 26th, 11am-2pm, Christian Cultural Center 120-20 Flatlands Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11207
Staten Island: May 1st, 11am-2pm, Conference House Park 298 Satterlee St., Staten Island, NY  10307
Bronx: May 3rd, 11am-2pm, Bronx Borough Hall 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY  10452
Queens: May 4th, 11am-2pm, Bowne Park 32nd Avenue and 156th Street, Flushing, NY  11354

Long Island:
Blue Point: April 23rd, 2-4pm, Bayport Bluepoint Library 203 Blue Point Ave, Blue Point, NY 11715
Freeport: April 25th, 10am-1pm, Freeport Recreational Center 130 E Merrick Rd, Freeport, NY 11520
Greenlawn: April 30th, 2-4pm, Harborfields Public Library 31 Broadway, Greenlawn, NY 11740

Upstate New York:
Albany:
April 24th, 9am-noon, Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center 340 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY  12208
Queensbury: May 5th, 10am-1pm, Queensbury Senior Center Queensbury Center Town Complex corner of Bay and Haviland
Syracuse: April 27th, 9am-noon, Central New York Regional Market 2100 Park Street, Syracuse, NY  13208
Rochester: April 26th, 9am-noon, Temple Beth El 139 Winton Rd., Rochester, NY  14610
Buffalo (Depew): April 25th, 9am-noon, Grapevine Banquet Facility 333 Dick Road, Depew, NY 14043

Shredding services will be performed by a third party.  All documents and information provided for shredding are subject to that party’s privacy and informational security policies.

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