By Jordan Puckett
The Clermont County Records Center and Cintas Document Management will be holding a free Shred Day on Saturday, May 18 in Batavia. Members of the public are invited to come and watch the disposal of their personal documents as a way to prevent identity theft and raise awareness of the crime.
Identity theft is a fast growing crime. The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office investigates an average of 50 cases each year. Many identity thieves obtain the necessary information simply by going through a person’s trash. To prevent this, all documents containing personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card information should be disposed of properly. Shredding documents before placing them in the trash helps to deter thieves.
Besides shredding personal documents, there are other ways to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft. The Ohio Attorney General website advises consumers do the following: Carry only the credit cards needed at the time, keep social security card in a safe place at home, don’t give out personal information unless you initiate contact, make sure online sites are secure before giving out personal information, keep ant-virus and firewall protection up-to-date, keep copies of credit cards (front and back) in case they are stolen and need canceled, check credit card history at least once per year, and review medical, bank, and credit card statements thoroughly upon receipt.
The Shred Day serves as the initial precaution.
“The purpose is to promote proper destruction of citizens’ personal information and brings awareness about identity theft,” says Barb Brown, Records Manager for Clermont County. “Identity theft is on the rise. It’s a serious issue.”
The annual event has grown in popularity. Brown says a large number of people come back each year, in addition to many first time shredders. People of all ages attend the event, families, those who live alone, business owners and their employees, and many more.
Items to bring include credit card offers, bank statements, tax records returned checks, and anything else that contains valuable and potentially harmful personal information. Brown recommends keeping bank statements for three years and tax records for seven years before destroying them. Staples, paper clips, and rubber bands may remain on the documents, though three ring binders cannot go through the shredder.
The event will take place at the Department of Job and Family Services parking lot at 2400 Clermont Center Dr. in Batavia and will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.