City of Hendersonville Shred Day

September 1, 2011

City of Hendersonville Shred DayAs you may be aware of, the threat of identity theft can be a big and expensive problem.  If you throw out your old bank and credit card statements without ripping them to unrecognizable shreds, it’s like throwing out an invitation for identity thieves to steal your information.  Make sure your documents are shredded in a secure manner by attending the City of Hendersonville‘s Shred Day on Wednesday, September 21st

Every Hendersonville citizen is allowed to bring up to two boxes (50 lbs total) of old checks, credit card and bank statements, payroll stubs, old tax returns, medical forms and any other financial statements to the Grey Hosiery Mill Building (301 4th Ave E) from 10am to 12pm for shredding.  The American Security Shredding truck will set up shop in the Grey Hosiery Mill Building’s parking lot.  You can simply drop your documents off or stay and watch them get properly and securely shredded.

You need to protect your credit wherever you can, especially if you are considering making a major purchase like a home in Hendersonville or anywhere else.  The best offense on identity theft is a good defense.  To protect yourself from possible identity theft in the future, follow these general rules:

1. Put your trash out on the curb the day of trash pickup.  Once it is on the street, your trash is public domain.  Anyone can come by to go through it. 

2. Always shred financial papers, credit card receipts, cancelled checks, etc, before throwing them away.  A diamond paper shredder will reduce your financial documents into unrecognizable and, more importantly, unusable confetti.  You may be surprised how enterprising and creative identity thieves can be.  It’s not beyond them to take the time to tape torn statements together to get the information they need.  A diamond paper shredder will make this virtually impossible.

3. Pay for all online purchases with a credit card.  Credit card companies are required by federal law to fight any unlawful purchases made with your credit card.  Debit cards and online payment services don’t necessarily offer such protection.

4. Go through your bank and credit card statements thoroughly every month.  If you recognize any purchases on your credit or debit cards that were not made by you (no matter how small the purchase), report it immediately.  Some thieves will make a few small purchases to check that the information they stole is valid before they start to really tear into your credit.

5. Check your credit report from all three agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian).  Legally, you are entitled to one free report from each agency every 12 months.  It’s a good idea to ask for a different credit report every four months so that there isn’t such a big lapse in time between checking.  Not all credit purchases made are reported to all three agencies.  That’s why you need to go through all three.

If you believe that you may have had your credit information hijacked by an identity thief, contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.  It can be a lengthy process to straighten out your credit after someone steals your identity.  So, be patient.

Safely get rid of your old financial documents at the City of Hendersonville‘s Shred Day on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.  And follow the tips above to protect yourself from the prying eyes of identity thieves.  Protecting your credit is especially necessary when you want to buy a Hendersonville home. 

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my blog here:

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