Why it’s important to shred documents, credit offers

Lincoln, R.I.

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) – Secure bins were filled Thursday with thousands of documents, receipts and credit offers to be shredded.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin hosted the free shredding event with Infoshred in an effort to help people Rhode Islanders protect their identities.

“It’s important to shred documents because there’s personal information on so many pieces of mail you get,” Kilmartin said. “You might get something in the mail from a bank that says, ‘fill this out and we’ll send you a card.’ For all you know, somebody could steal that and end up getting a card in your name. Thieves are very creative.”

Identity protection doesn’t stop with shredding, according to the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Limit what you carry, and be sure to leave your social security card at home in a safe, secure location.
  • Collect your mail promptly. If you’re planning to be away from home, contact the post office to put your mail on hold.
  • Regularly review receipts and accounts.
  • Create complex passwords.

According to the FTC, you should shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements and expired charge cards.

Kilmartin’s office and Infoshred plan to hold additional free shredding events throughout the summer. Dates and locations have not yet been announced.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.