BBB announces identity theft prevention event

SOUTHFIELD — Your local Better Business Bureau along with GreenPath Debt Solutions are encouraging residents and small businesses to take an important step in helping prevent identity theft and protecting the environment by attending BBB’s Secure Your ID Day Community Shred and Hard Drive Destruction event on April 30 from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. at the BBB Officeparking lot in Southfield.

Over the past two years, more than 19 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $93 billion to criminal activity, according to a 2011 report from Javelin Strategy and Research.

“While there is no guarantee that one won’t become a victim of identity theft, destroying documents that appeal to thieves and destroying computer hard drives with sensitive passwords and information are just a couple of ways to deter identity theft”, said Patrick Bennett, Director of Community Relations for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan. “That’s why your BBB, GreenPath Debt Solutions, and Cintas Corporation will be available to offer information and actions to help people prevent ID theft.”

Bring up to three normal sized boxes or bags of sensitive paper documents to be shredded on the spot for free by event partner Cintas. $10 per box/bag exceeding the free promotion will be charged with proceeds supporting the BBB Educational Foundation. All shredded paper and destroyed hard drives from this event will be recycled to protect the environment in participation of Earth Day 2011.

Understanding computers are also targeted by identity thieves, event partner Cintas will provide consumers the ability to have their computer hard drives, detached from the PC, printer, copier or scanner, destroyed on the spot for just $10 dollars per unit.

Our Secure Your ID Day partner, GreenPath Debt Solutions, will also provide on-site certified counselors to educate about their services and schedule one-on-one counseling sessions.

In addition, your BBB will be accepting donations of used cell phones as part of a recycling effort to help support the 911 Senior Cell Phone Program sponsored by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. The used cell phones must be in good condition and include an AC/DC recharging unit.

“Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information,” added Bennett. “By hosting the Secure Your ID Day we hope to educate and empower people to follow the “3 Ds” of identity theft protection – Deter, Detect and Defend.”

For more information visit or call Patrick Bennett at 248- 799-0326. — G.G.

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