Document shredding event planned for Soldotna

Posted: Friday, July 16, 2010

The Better Business Bureau of Alaska will host a document shred-a-thon this Saturday at Wells Fargo Bank.

A Shred Alaska truck will take all confidential information from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Better Business Bureau spokesperson Tara Simf said that the truck will shred three grocery bags or boxes of paper per person free of charge.

"They can bring multiple people in their family if they want to shred more," Simf said.

Kathy Gensel from Wells Fargo, who helped sponsor the event, said that the truck can shred paper files, but only if it's free of cardboard and removed from any three-ring binders.

She said that it's important to dispose of documents properly to protect from nefarious "Dumpster divers" who sort through trash and steal identities.

"If it's thrown in the trash unshredded, the information is still out there," the bank manager said.

Gensel said people should regularly shred their tax returns and any paperwork that contains their name and social security number. Simf said that people should slice and dice credit card applications before trashing them; otherwise con artists can snatch the paperwork from a garbage can, before a bear gets to it, and have the cards sent to their address instead.

The bank manager said that businesses that accept credit cards should dispose of sensitive documents regularly because they are liable for their customers' information.

"If it's burned or shredded you know it's safe," the Gensel said.

Gensel said that seemingly harmless documents can aid scammers looking for a quick buck.

"I think back to school," she said. "Everything had my name, social security number and grades all over it."

She cautioned against overzealous shredding, however, because certain financial records will come in handy during tax time. Gensel advised anyone with questions to discuss the matter with their account.

Gensel said that the Better Business Bureau held a similar event in the Mat-Su with Wells Fargo and she wanted to do one locally. This is the first such event on the Kenai Peninsula.

Tony Cella can be reached at tony.cella@peninsulaclarion.com.



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