Free document shredding at Super Shredders April 21
Saturday, April 21, the Rockford Better Business Bureau (BBB), in conjunction with Super Shredders and the Barbara Olson Center for Hope, invites consumers and businesses to protect their identities by shredding unwanted personal, financial or confidential documents for free at the bi-annual Shredfest at Super Shredders, 3206 N. Central Ave. (behind The Barbara Olson Center of Hope). Free electronics recycling will also be available, provided by Vintage Tech.
Crime statistics show that last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, costing them roughly $5 billion.
As of Jan. 1, the Electronic Products Recycling & Reuse Act requires consumers to recycle their electronic devices, including televisions, monitors, printers and computers, rather than allow them to be disposed of in a landfill.
TVs, monitors, laptops, PCs, servers, data storage devices, printers, fax/copy machines, cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras and game consoles are among the types of electronic equipment that will be collected for recycling at the event.
Participants are asked to limit the material they want shred to 10 boxes of documents per vehicle.
Following are some suggestions for deciding how long to keep personal financial information:
• A good rule of thumb is to keep all tax returns and supporting documentation for seven years. The IRS has three years from your tax-filing date to audit, and has six years to challenge a claim.
• Keep credit card statements for seven years if tax-related expenses are documented.
• Keep paycheck stubs for one year. Be sure to cross reference the paycheck stub to the W-2 form.
• Be sure to keep bank statements and canceled checks for at least one year.
• Bills should be kept for one year or until the canceled check has been returned. Receipts for large-ticket items should be kept for insurance purposes.
• Home improvement receipts should be kept for six years, or permanently.
• Items such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, insurance policies, titles or wills should be kept permanently in a safety deposit box.
• If you are going to dispose of documents with sensitive information, be sure to SHRED!
For more about Shredfest, contact the Rockford Regional Office of the BBB at (815) 963-2222.
For more information about how to protect your identity, visit www.bbb.org.
From the April 18-24, 2012, issue
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