As part of its ongoing efforts to prevent fraud and identity theft, AARP is teaming up with the Belmont Senior Center and the Montana Attorney General’s Office to sponsor a free Fraud Fighter Forum in Butte on April 19. At 11:30 am, Jenny Eck, Consumer Protection Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Montana Department of Justice will present a fraud prevention seminar about how to recognize the signs of fraud and how to avoid becoming a victim.
See also: Ask Sid - What Should I Shred, and When?
AARP is also holding a free community shred-a-thon as part of the fraud fighter forum. The event will feature on-site document shredding from 10 am to 2 pm. Consumers may bring up to three file-sized boxes of documents; emptied boxes will be immediately returned.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans become identity theft victims each year. Research shows that most identity thieves obtain information through traditional paper-based sources rather than electronic channels.
And while laws help to keep criminals in check, prevention is still the best course of action. Shredding is one of the most efficient ways to thwart identity theft by preventing information from falling into the wrong hands.
Documents that consumers should shred include:
- Bank statements that are at least one year old and do not contain tax-related information
- Pay stubs (only after you receive your Form W-2)
- Credit card applications
- Any other documents that contain your:
- Social Security Number
- Account Numbers
- Password/PIN Information
- Birth date, private contact information and signature.
“Don’t give identity thieves a chance to steal your information – shred your personal documents before throwing them away,” said AARP Montana State President Joy Bruck noting that a 2011 shred event sponsored by AARP Montana resulted in the secure destruction of approximately three tons of confidential material. “Our free events are a quick and effective way for consumers to protect themselves against this devastating crime. I hope folks in the Butte community will take advantage of this free service, and also attend the fraud prevention seminar by the Attorney General’s office to learn more about guarding against identity theft and fraud.”
Quick Glance Details
Fraud Fighter Forum in Butte, Shred-a-thon and Seminar
Montana Attorney General’s Office
Belmont Senior Center
Belmont Senior Center
615 East Mercury
Butte, Montana 59701
Thursday, April 19, 2012
10 am – 2 pm: Shred-A-Thon on-site document shredding begins
11:30 am – Fraud Prevention seminar by the Attorney General’s Office