As part of its ongoing efforts to help consumers avoid falling victim to identity theft, AARP New Mexico will join in “Shred Fest 2016” to help consumers safely dispose of their financial documents with free document shredding events in Santa Fe and Las Cruces that are open to the public. Both events are Saturday, April 30th.
In Santa Fe, AARP New Mexico is joining with Del Norte Credit Union at Del Norte’s southside Santa Fe location, 3286 Cerrillos Road. Shredding service begins at 2 p.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. or until the on-site shredding service trucks reach full capacity.
In Las Cruces, the Shred Fest will be at Wal-Mart, 571 Walton Blvd. Shredding service begins at 10 a.m. and will continue until noon, or again, until the on-site shredding service trucks reach full capacity.
Individuals at both locations are limited to 50 pounds of materials.
The New Mexico events are one of dozens of Shred Fest 2016 events scheduled for communities nationwide, during Money Smart Week® April 23-30, with support from the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the AARP Foundation.
“Financial fraud causes millions of dollars in losses each year,” said Chuck Valenti, CEO/President, Del Norte Credit Union. “With the tax-filing season is 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. Our Shred Fest 2016 event will allow consumers to discard this paperwork in a safe and secure manner,” said Gene Varela, AARP New Mexico State Director.
In 2015, New Mexico residents registered 2,109 complaints about identity theft 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 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. Residents of other communities who wish to take advantage of a Shred Fest event may refer online at schedule. A second New Mexico location is taking place in Las Cruces.
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.