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‘Shred Fest 2016’ Helps St Martinville-Area Consumers Avoid Risk of Identity Theft

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Local Event one of Dozens Scheduled Nationwide to Provide Secure Document Destruction

As part of its ongoing efforts to help consumers avoid falling victim to identity theft, AARP LA is joining with the City of St. Martinville Recreation Center to sponsor “Shred Fest 2016” – an event to provide free shredding of personal financial documents and other sensitive records.
Shredding services will be performed by a third party. All documents and information provided for shredding are subject to that party’s privacy and informational security policies. Five medium sized bags or boxes are allowed per vehicle. This event is for individuals and is not open to companies.
The Shred Fest will be held on Thursday, April 14th, at the St. Martinville Rec Center in Magnolia Park (100 Northside Dr.), St. Martinville. Shredding service begins at 4 pm, and will continue until 6pm. The event is spearheaded by the St. Martin Parish AARP chapter.
The St. Martinville event is one of dozens of Shred Fest 2016 events scheduled for communities nationwide, during Money Smart Week® April 23-30, with support from the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the AARP Foundation.
“Financial fraud causes millions of dollars in losses each year,” said Dr. LC Thomas, the lead of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Louisiana. “With the tax-filing season almost behind us, we’re encouraging taxpayers to do a spring cleaning of their old financial documents and other records.”
“Identity thieves routinely search through dumpsters and trash cans, looking to find confidential information. Our Shred Fest 2016 event will allow consumers to discard this paperwork in a safe and secure manner,” said Denise Bottcher, Louisiana State Director, AARP.
In 2015 Louisiana residents registered 35,409 complaints about Fraud and identity theft with the Federal Trade Commission.
To avoid having your sensitive information compromised, security experts recommend shredding of the following types of materials:
• Old documents:  Papers that carry your Social Security number, birth date, signature, account numbers, passwords or PIN numbers.
• Banking:  Canceled or unused checks. Shred deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts, once you receive your monthly statements.
• Credit Cards: Preapproved credit card applications and incentive/gift checks from credit card companies.
• Medical: unneeded medical bills.
• Investments: Investment account statements.
• Obsolete ID cards: Expired driver’s licenses, medical insurance cards and passports.
Shred Fest 2016 events are being held in at least 37 states next week. Residents of other communities who wish to take advantage of a Shred Fest event may refer to online schedule.
And for those consumers who use a home shredder, experts also recommend the use of a micro-cut model. Tests have shown that the scraps of paper from a straight or cross-cut shredder can be reassembled by identity thieves. With a micro-cut shredder, the paper is rendered into impossible-to-reassemble debris.
More information on how to keep yourself safe from identity theft fraud, and alerts regarding other types of scams, is available from the Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork.

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