The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado wants to fight identity theft and it is sponsoring an event to help. The annual “Letter Rip” event will shred anyone’s old documents containing personal identifiable information.
The event takes place from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30 on Vermijo Street between Cascade Avenue and Sahwatch Street. Cars may enter from either Cascade or Sahwatch.
Other sponsors include the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, El Paso County, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, KKTV Channel 11 and Mobile Record Shredders. Anyone may bring up to five standard-sized copier boxes full of sensitive paper, X-rays, CDs and floppy computer discs to shred for free. The cost for additional small boxes is $5 and for large boxes is $10.
Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders. X-rays, CDs and floppy disks can be shredded but need to be separated from paper. Paper clips and staples can be left on documents.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this service to help people destroy documents that none of us want falling into the hands of crooks,” said Gina Sacripanti, BBB director of marketing and events. “This is a first step in fighting identity theft, and we hope people take steps to help prevent ID theft in their daily lives, both online and offline.”
According to the 2015 Identity Fraud Study conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, 12.7 million Americans were victims of ID theft. During the last six years, identity fraudsters have stolen $112 billion.
Donations and funds collected from the event go to the BBB of Southern Colorado Foundation, which provides free resources and education to students, often the targets of identity theft. The BBB foundation awards scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors of Southern Colorado. To make a donation, visit BBB of Southern Colorado Foundation.
The BBB also holds a shredding event in Pueblo. For the most up-to-date details on shredding events, visit bbbsc.org.
“As we know, identity theft is primarily a crime of access,” Sacripanti said. “Our goal at BBB is to make information less accessible and empower people to be their own first line of defense.”
Last year, BBBs nationwide helped individuals shred more than 700,000 pounds of sensitive documents.