Better Business Bureau: Free shred event helped thousands of Wisconsinites fight identity theft

CONTACT: Lisa Schiller, Media Relations

PHONE: 414- 847- 6055

FAX: 414-302- 0355

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin’s spring ShredFest events in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay were very successful, with record totals. We had a combined total of more than 1,600 cars and shredded more than 30 tons of documents on April 20.

ShredFest is a national event with thirty BBBs participating in nearly fifty shredding events across the country. The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau has been holding free shredding events twice annually since 2007. At our fall 2012 ShredFest, we collected roughly 17 tons of documents. In recognition of “National Consumer Protection Week” in March, we partnered with the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Inspectors, and shredded more than 9,000 lbs.

ProShred Security in Milwaukee, Pelliteri’s Data Destruction in Madison and Fox Cities Records Services in Green Bay conducted the massive shredding using multiple trucks at each location.

Partnering with Layton State Bank (Milwaukee), Summit Credit Union (Madison) and Associated Bank (Green Bay), attendees enjoyed the convenience of staying in their vehicles as volunteers removed boxes of documents from their cars and placed them into shredding bins. Event participants could witness the document destruction and departed with free goody-bags filled with identity theft prevention tips and sponsor gifts.

“Thanks to our shredding and banking partners, and local media who helped us spread the word, we were able to help reduce the chance of identity theft to all those who came out”, said Ran Hoth BBB CEO/president. “BBB is thrilled that the communities took advantage of this free event.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. One of the most common methods used by thieves to steal personal information is dumpster diving, which entails rummaging through trash looking for old bills or other documents that contain personal information.

BBB’s next ShredFest event will be held in fall. For the date, time and locations of our next event and for more information on preventing identity theft visit http://www.wisconsin.bbb.org.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at http://www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org . The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.