On Friday, you can bring old bills, mail, and anything else that has your name, address, social security number, or other pertinent information to the North Bailey branch Friday from 1-4pm.
"We're going to have a truck out there and you can bring those documents and get them shredded for free," says Postal Inspector Ray Williams. He says a simliar event in Rochester was a great success, with people bringing bags and boxes of documents.
Williams says it's just one way to protect your identity, especially with so many phishing scams out there. He says it's easy to get reeled in. "One of the things we see here, is you get a phone call purporting to be from a bank and they call you and start asking for your information," explains Williams. The best advice, unless you're initiating the call, don't give out account numbers, social security numbers to anyone over the phone.
The trending scam these days, says Williams is the foreign lottery, which is mainly geared toward seniors. "Someone receives a phone call or an e-mail and they're told they won a few million dollars, and all they have to do to collect their winnings is pay an advance fee," says Williams.
From The US Postal Inspection Service, here's their fact sheet on Identity Theft
Identity theft is America's fastest-growing crime.
Last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them roughly $5 billion.
The number of ID theft victims and their total losses are probably much higher. It's hard to pin down, because law enforcement agencies may classify ID theft differently--it can involve credit card fraud, Internet fraud, or mail theft, among other crimes.
The FTC reported that only four percent of victims cited stolen mail as the source of personal information. Even so, U.S. Postal Inspectors, charged with protecting the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse, are leaders in the fight against identity theft.
Postal Inspectors provide these ID theft tips:
For more information...