Protecting yourself from identity theft

A report from Javelin Strategy & Research finds the number of identity fraud victims remained steady at 13.1 million in 2015 when compared with 2014, however it is still the second highest number of victims since Javelin began conducting its annual study in 2004.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, every 3 seconds there is a new victim with 7% of US Residents 16 years or older having been affected.

According to Frank Cilona, President of the Better Business Bureau, “The first rule in Identity Protection is ‘If you don’t need it, dispose of it…Responsibly’. Consumers should use the word SHRED as a helpful guide in protecting themselves.”

n S – Strengthen passwords. Use at least 8 characters, alpha numerics, symbols and upper and lower case letters.

n H – Handle personal identifying information with care. Don’t give this information out unless absolutely necessary.

n R – Read credit reports annually. Go to every year for a free credit report.

n E – Empty your purse or wallet. Don’t carry any more than necessary and never have your Social Security card with you.

n D – Discuss these tips with your friends. Share your knowledge and educate those around you.

Your BBB has had a spring shred event for the last 10 years to help in the fight against identity theft. Consumers and businesses can bring their documents with personal information to be commercially shred onsite. This event also includes e-cycling to dispose of electronics, such as computers and cellphones.

This year’s Spring Shred and E-Cycling event is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 16, at the 5th Avenue Kroger parking lot. The event is free.

To see a list of accepted electronics for the event, call 330-454-9401 or visit and click on Programs & Services.

Check out to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam, read tips, follow on social media and more. The Canton Regional and Greater West Virginia Better Business Bureau offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices.

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