Columbia BBB Event Offers Free Identity Theft Protection Advice and On-Site Document Shredding

September 9, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – September 9, 2008 – Emotional and financial chaos could be just one piece of paper away. That’s because criminals who specialize in the growing trade of identify theft need very little information to steal your good name. An old bank statement, medical bill, cancelled check or credit card statement is all it takes to become one of the nine million Americans who fall victim to identify theft each year.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent identify theft is to properly destroy unnecessary records. That’s why the Better Business Bureau of Central South Carolina and Charleston and local partners Shred360 is offering free document shredding and disposal consultations for individual consumers on Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m.—1 p.m. at Staples Office Supply located at 4464 Devine Street in Columbia.

As partners nationally with Equifax and ProQuo, the BBB is spreading the message that the first step in identity protection is simple:  If you don’t need it, dispose of it…responsibly. The event will mark the second time this year BBB has participated with Equifax in the nationwide public awareness event.

Shred360 is a Columbia-based member of the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID), the industry’s trade organization, and will provide free and secure shredding services on the day of the event. Consumers are invited to bring up to four boxes or bags of documents to be shredded. Documents to be shredded should be removed from binders. Experts also will be on hand to provide advice and resources for protecting personal information from identity thieves.

Identity thieves use many tactics, but one of the most common includes rummaging through trash in search of valuable documents, according to the Federal Trade Commission. They use this information to get credit cards issued in another person’s name, open new phone and utility accounts and even take out large loans. The effects of identity theft can last for years and can lead to damaged credit scores and calls from collection agencies. The national Identify Theft Resource Center estimates that it takes 40 hours on average for victims to resolve the crime.

Identity theft is not a rare, exotic crime, said Jim Camp, CEO of the local BBB.  It can, and does, happen every day to people of all walks of life. Shredding documents is a simple way to greatly decrease the chances it will happen to you. The BBB sees the national effort to raise awareness of this issue as fundamental to its core mission of serving consumers and small businesses alike.

BBB Secure Your ID Day Details

Who:          Better Business Bureau Serving Central SC and Charleston with national partners Equifax and Columbia-based Shred360 and Staples Office Supply on Devine Street.

What:         Free on-the-spot document shredding and prescriptive advice for protecting your identity from thieves

When:        September 20, 2008 …. 10:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where:       Staples Office Supply

                    4464 Devine Street at Jackson Blvd.

About BBB

BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 127 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 3 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit for more information about BBB.

About NAID 

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is the nonprofit trade organization of the secure destruction industry.  With over 1,200 member locations, NAID members provide secure destruction services to business and government across North America.

About Equifax

A global leader in information solutions, Equifax leverages one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax Inc. employs approximately 7,000 people in 14 countries through North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index.

About ProQuo

ProQuo was founded to put consumers in control of their personal information, letting them decide if and how businesses use it. ProQuo helps consumers stop the junk mail they don’t want and get the offers they really do want. The company is led by pioneers in the online security and privacy arena and has served hundreds of thousands of consumers since launching in October 2007.