If you are looking to recycle some old electronics or a small business owner in needs of cleaning out some old important papers files, Saturday is your day.
There will be two Secure Your ID Day events on Saturday, Oct. 5, offering document shredding, cell phone and computer/electronic recycling and take-home prevention resources to help protect against and recover from identity theft.
Any person looking to shred is allowed to bring up to three boxes or bags of documents. Items should be removed from binders and staple free.
Certified computer, electronics and cell phone recycling services will also be available, as well, certified credit counselors will be present to answer questions regarding identity theft.
The events will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at two locations:
- Lowes Home Improvement, located at 3180 N Hwy. 67 in Florissant
- Arsenal Credit Union, located at 8651 Watson Rd., in Webster Groves
In a statement, ClearPoint officials said the agency is seeing more and more clients who "experience ensuing credit difficulties as a result of ID theft."
According to the Federal Trade Commission, complaints about identity theft increased 3 percent in 2012 and represents about one-fifth of the complaints the agency receives.
Here are some tips that you can use when you're online to keep your identity safe:
1. Only Make Purchases On Trusted Sites
There are lots of small online retailers that don't have adequately secure payment systems. Stick with trusted, well-known online retailers, or smaller sites that use reputable payment processors like PayPal. Make sure to look for the padlock icon on the bottom of your browser to verify the page is safe.
2. Order Your Credit Report
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Federal government passed in 2003, mandates each of the major credit bureaus supply consumers with a free copy of their credit report each year. You can get yours at AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit report allows you to see whether someone has opened new accounts under your name.
3. Know How To Spot Phishing
Phishing is a technique identity thieves use to get your sensitive information by pretending to be a site you trust. Phishing schemes are successful because you believe that you're just signing into your bank or credit card account, when it's really a ploy to get your important information. Social security numbers and addresses are often red flags. Also, check the url of the site. If you're accessing a Bank of America account at a web address that isn't at bankofamerica.com, it probably a phishing site.
4. Secure Your Network
If you have a wireless network at home or work, make sure that you secure it. A hacker can gain access to anything you do over an unsecured network in a matter of seconds. If you look at the documentation for your wireless router, you'll be able to find out how to lock your router and encrypt your information.
5. When you realize you are the victim of identity theft:
- Call the poilice and file a fraud report.
- Notify your banks and credit card companies and Telecheck.
- File a fraud report with the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Protection Agency.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus and inform them of the fraud.