The Central Texas Better Business Bureau will expand its efforts to prevent identity theft at its 2012 BBB Shred Day event on Saturday. For the first time, the BBB will include computers and cellphone recycling along with on-site document shredding.
“The primary reason for the event is to create an awareness and combat identity theft and other types of fraud perpetrated on consumers,” said Richard Kitterman, regional director of the BBB. “Your computer is a target-rich environment for private data.”
According to numbers provided by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s website, there are more than 20,000 cases of identity theft in Texas every year. The numbers also show area residents are aware of the danger. Kitterman said last year’s Shred Day recycled 22,000 pounds of paper and 550 pounds of cardboard.
The event will be at the First National Bank Texas on Trimmier Road. The first 500 consumers will receive goody bags containing ID theft and fraud prevention literature and other items. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the shred trucks are filled to capacity, consumers will have the chance to securely destroy and repurpose up to two boxes of documents and electronic items. Everything destroyed at the event will be recycled and repurposed.
One area resident who is excited to take part is retired Central Texas College professor David Yeilding. Yeilding has been letting old computers pile up in his garage since the 1980s out of fear someone might gain access to personal information if he threw them away.
“I have several computers going back to 1988, which was the first one I ever bought,” Yeilding said. “I haven’t used it in a long time. We have upgraded several times, and I didn’t know how to get rid of the old computers because of the hard drive. It worries me. I’m looking forward to getting to the shredding because I can finally get rid of them safely.”