To help prevent identity theft, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-134) will host a free document shredding event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lower Macungie Municipal Building parking lot, 3400 Brookside Road.
“Identity theft is one the fastest growing crimes in America, and it can have devastating financial consequences for its victims,” said Mackenzie. “One of the greatest precautions we can take to protect our identity is to properly dispose of documents containing sensitive and personal information, such as Social Security numbers and credit card statements.”
Documents that should be shredded include those with credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, medical information and bank account information. In order to ensure that all residents’ paperwork is shredded in a timely fashion, constituents are encouraged to limit the amount of paperwork to four boxes or bags per household.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, regardless of age. In fact, minors are often attractive targets because identity theft crimes against children can go undetected for years. Unfortunately, identity theft can have a devastating effect on a victim’s life because by the time identity theft is discovered—on average 14 months after the crime—the thief has wreaked havoc on the victim’s credit standing.
In 2011, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them roughly $5 billion. According to the Social Security Administration’s inspector general, the number of identity theft victims and their total losses are probably much higher. The statistics are hard to pin down since law enforcement agencies may classify this type of theft differently. This form of theft can involve credit card fraud, Internet fraud or mail theft, among other crimes.
Kay Builders, located in Wescosville, is co-sponsoring the event this year. For more legislative information, visit Mackenzie’s website at RepMackenzie.com or follow his legislative Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepMackenzie.