Would you believe that every 2 seconds, someone’s identity is stolen? And it’s not hard to imagine, given all the data breaches in the news lately. Combating fraud is a priority for AARP New York and that is why we are launching Operation: Stop Scams,
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 for 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.
In 2015 alone, New York 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 (see below). 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.
Orchard Park: April 19, 2018, 9am-12pm, Chestnut Ridge County Park 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Deer Park: April 22, 2018, 10am-12pm, Deer Park Library 44 Lake Avenue, Deer Park, NY 11729
Garden City: April 22, 2018, 2pm-4pm, Garden City Library 60 7th Street, Garden City, NY 11530
Freeport: April 24, 2018, 10am-1pm, Freeport Recreation Center 130 East Merrick Road, Freeport, NY 11520
Brentwood: April 29, 2018, 12:30pm-3:30pm, Brentwood Public Library 34 Second Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717
Huntington Station: May 6, 2018, 2pm-4pm, South Huntington Public Library 145 Pidgeon Hill Road, Huntington Station, NY 11746
Oyster Bay: June 3, 2018, 1pm-3pm, Oyster Bay – East Norwich Public Library 89 E Main St, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Nesconset: June 9, 2018, 10am-noon, 127 12 Smithtown Blvd. Nesconset, NY 11767
Long Beach: June 10, 2018, 11am-1pm, Lido Middle School 239 Lido Blvd, Long Beach, NY 11561
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.