Paper shredding helps protect against ID theft

Identity theft is a large and growing problem. Consumers looking to protect themselves cannot assume their financial institutions, credit card companies and online retailers can provide complete protection. The fact is, rummaging around in your trash is a common way to steal large amounts of your personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2018, residents of Oregon reported 4,197 incidents of identity theft. That means Oregon ranked 22 out of 50 states for frequency of identity theft in 2018.

Americans receive more than 4 million tons of junk mail each year, according to the FTC. Much of this mail includes your personal information. Even something as simple as an empty envelope with your bank’s return address can be valuable to a thief.

The trash you throw out can contain information like your address, telephone number, email address, credit union or bank information, Social Security number–even what your signature looks like. Armed with that information, thieves can open new accounts, take out loans, open credit cards in your name and more. In short, they can throw your life into chaos.

The cure for dumpster diving ID theft is to thoroughly shred everything that contains your personal information. Security experts recommend cross-cut or micro-cut shredders over the more common type of home-based shredder which simply cuts papers into strips. Many households either don’t have the time to shred all of that, or they don’t own the right kind of shredder. Oregon State Credit Union shred events bring large-capacity, high-security shredders to communities saving residents time and providing peace of mind.

Learn more about Shred Day

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