As tax season comes to an end, the Better Business Bureau says it's time to take steps to secure your identity and protect your information. To do that, BBB is offering free document shredding and electronic recycling this Saturday, April 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the College of Western Idaho Micron Building in Nampa.
BBB's Dale Dixon says shredding is one great way to prevent identity theft.
"Identity theft is regularly near the top of the Federal Trade Commissions’ list of top consumer complaints year in and year out. And it’s a problem that isn’t going away any time soon," Dixon said.
BBB is teaming up with Western Records, Shred It and Computers for Kids for the Free Shred Day event. Dixon recommends shredding any document that has any type of identifying information on it; name, address, phone or date of birth.
However, according to the BBB, there are different time frames you need to keep documents.
Keep for three years: Bank statements, expired insurance policies and employment applications.
Keep for seven years: Invoices, cancelled stock certificates, payroll records and withholding statements.
Keep permanently: Deeds, mortgages, tax returns, audit reports, insurance records, legal correspondence and property records.
Credit card statements can be shredded as soon as you've compared your receipts. Dixon says junk mail should also be shredded.
"Dumpster diving is a big problem. For example, if you put your garbage out the day before the truck comes by, there’s a chance someone will go through garbage, and if they can find one of those pre-approved credit card offers and maybe another document with personal information, off the bad guys go with your identity. Once those documents leave your counter or desk, you don’t know for sure what will happen to it or if a paper or two may fly off the truck. The idea behind shredding is to remove all opportunity from the thief," Dixon said.
For more information visit www.bbb.org.