Better Business Bureau: Helps consumers thwart ID theft by hosting free document shredding event

ID theft is nation’s no. 1 complaint to Federal Trade Commission for 15th consecutive year

Madison, Wis. – On Saturday, April 25, 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 15 years.

The event will be held at two locations – SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Drive and WISC-TV 3, 7025 Raymond Road – from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There is a limit of three paper bags per car. Shredding will be done on site through the use of mobile shredding trucks. SVA Certified Public Accountants, WISC-TV 3, and Pellitteri Data Destruction are co-sponsoring the event. All paper shred at the event will be 100 percent recycled.

In 2014, there were 4,283 reported cases of identity theft in Wisconsin, an 18 percent increase, 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 50 percent, followed by credit card fraud (14 percent), phone or utilities fraud (9 percent), bank fraud (6 percent), loan fraud (4 percent) employment-related fraud (3 percent), “other” (17 percent) and attempted identity theft (5 percent).

Those aged 40-49 and 50-59 are the most heavily targeted groups, each making up 19 percent of the total number of victims reporting their age in CSN), directly followed by those aged 20-29 and 30-39 (each at 18 percent), those aged 60-69 (13 percent), and those aged 19 and under (seven 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 they the BBB encourages consumers to dispose of unneeded personal documents responsibly.

“Identity theft is largely a crime of access,” said Randall Hoth, CEO and President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “Our goal is to make personal information less accessible to thieves, but it doesn’t end there. We want to empower people to be vigilant, proactive to protecting themselves against ID theft.”

The BBB’s shredding event is part of a larger, national shredding event hosted by BBB offices throughout the United States. This local, educational event is presented by the BBB Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc. In addition to the event in Madison, the BBB will be hosting shredding events in Milwaukee and Appleton on May 2nd.

As a result of shredding events in Wisconsin in 2014, the BBB helped individuals and businesses at sites in Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, and Manitowoc shred 150,000 pounds of sensitive documents – double the amount in 2013 and a record amount since ShredFest began in 2007 – all for free.

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

For an online version of the story click here.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at 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 You Tube.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Wisconsin was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.