A decade ago Rosalind Scott carried personal identification numbers to all her debit and credit cards on a slip of paper in her wallet.
That changed when her purse was stolen and $800 was taken from her bank account.
Now Scott, executive director of the Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau, uses this story to illustrate how easy it is to fall victim to identity theft.
“These days it’s Internet passwords people carry around,” Scott said. “They can be used to compromise accounts just as quickly.”
To avoid being victimized, Scott encourages people to destroy unneeded personal documents and records that contain intimate information. And to do so at no cost, the Better Business Bureau is hosting a free Shred-It event at Tillicum Centre today (Oct. 14).
A shredding truck provided by Access Records & Media Management will be in the mall parking lot taking up to five blue garbage bags or five file boxes of paper per person.
“There’s a screen on the side of the truck where you can actually watch your files being shredded,” Scott said.
“Larger businesses routinely shred documents, but for a household or small business, this is the perfect opportunity to use the service at no cost.”
Shredding will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Tillicum Centre parking lot.
For info, visit vi.bbb.org.
What to shred
According to the B.B.B. the following documents should be retained for one year, then shredded:
• Utility and other monthly bills
• Credit card and bank account statements
• Paycheque stubs, after they’ve been reconciled with income tax statements
• Cancelled cheques, except those required for tax purposes