Wisconsin Better Business Bureau: Holds bi-annual free shredding event to help fight identity theft

CONTACT: Lisa Schiller, Media Relations
PHONE: 414- 847- 6055
FAX: 414-302- 0355
E-MAIL: [email protected]


ID Theft is Nation’s #1 Complaint to FTC, for Third Consecutive Year

Appleton, Wis. – On Saturday, May 17th, the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin will host “ShredFest” – a free document shredding event that helps people protect themselves from identity theft, the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for the last three years.

The event will be held at Thrivent Financial (Outagamie County Chapter), 2000 E. Milestone Drive, Appleton, from 8:30 am to 11 am. There is a limit of three boxes per car. Thrivent Financial and Fox Cities Record Services are co-sponsoring the event.

In 2013, there were 3,635 reported cases of identity theft in Wisconsin, according to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report.

In Wisconsin, government documents/benefits fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft at 43 percent, followed by credit card fraud (13 percent), phone or utilities fraud (11 percent), bank fraud (6 percent), employment-related fraud (4 percent) loan fraud (3 percent), “other” (21 percent) and attempted identity theft (7 percent).

Those aged 20-29 remain the most heavily targeted group, making up 20 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CNS, directly followed by those aged 30-39 (19 percent), those aged 40-49 (18 percent) and those aged 50-59 (17 percent).

Shredding personal information is a great way to minimize your chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. In fact, most identity theft cases occur after personal information has been lost or stolen, which is why the BBB encourages consumers to dispose of unneeded personal documents responsibly.

“BBB is happy to give people the opportunity to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal documents free of charge,” said Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “Identity theft is a serious crime, and largely a crime of access. Our goal is to make the information less accessible to thieves and empower people to be their own first line of defense. Shredding personal documents is an important first step in identity theft protection.”

The BBB’s shredding event is part of a larger, national shredding event hosted by BBB offices through the United States. This local, educational event is presented by the BBB Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc. In addition to the event in Appleton, the BBB hosted shredding events in Madison on May 3rd and in Milwaukee on May 10th.

As the result of shredding events nationwide in 2013 alone, the BBB helped individuals and businesses at sites across the country shred 3 million pounds of sensitive documents – all for free.

For more information including a list of items that should be shredded, click here.