WCNC in Charlotte, NC is reporting on April 26, 2014 about the escalating anxiety of the average citizen regarding the possibility of identity theft. Now that tax season is over, the need to safely purge old tax documents with sensitive personal and financial information is increasing at an alarming rate. From Omaha to Topeka, communities large and small are now organizing local paper shredding events as a means of fighting the ever-increasing levels of identity theft in the United States.
As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting, the “wounds of cyber theft can take a long time to heal”. The ramifications of the Target security breach of last Christmas is still affecting millions of Americans. And just this past February, thousands of employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center had their social security numbers, names, addresses, and W-2 information compromised from another similar cyber-attack.
Perhaps these national news stories are one reason why the Better Business Bureau of Topeka, KS sponsored a paper shredding drive Saturday, April 26, at the Kansas Expocenter. The event attracted thousands of concerned citizens, carrying numerous cartons and boxes of important documents and papers for instant shredding. A similar event took place in Omaha, NE that same day.
Says Omaha’s Better Business Bureau’s CEO, Jim Hegarty,
"A lot of data breaches out there. There is a real need for people to be guarding their identity very, very securely, and safety is one way for people to be really mindful of having things that may be lying around,"
While most American consumers are very aware that credit card theft is exploding, many are only now beginning to comprehend its connection to identify theft, medical insurance theft, and even child identity theft which is considered extremely difficult to detect. In cases where a minor child’s identity has been compromised, it may be years before anyone even discovers the cyber-crime. And our children’s social security numbers are listed on all of those yearly tax returns and many other important financial documents that we all too often simply toss out with the daily trash.