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Get your personal documents, prescription drugs, and old electronics gathered up today. By getting rid of them during Saturday's "Shred It" event, you can help protect yourself from identity theft.
If you pull up in the WTHR parking lot and other select locations Saturday, you can hand over your box of documents and a large "Shred It" truck will shred them on-site.
Even with all the sophisticated hackers in cyber space, discarded paper is still the most common means of identity theft, according to Crimestoppers. Research shows that dumpster diving is still the number-one way thieves use to get your identity. So they recommend you shred anything with personal information on it, including insurance and tax papers, bills, even prescription medicine bottles.
Documents with your name, bank account or credit card information, or a social security number, will cause you the most damage if stolen.
"They can get a drivers license, they can open up credit card accounts, they can open up cell phone accounts, run up large bills," said Scott Teagardin, Crimestoppers Program Director. "It's hard to track down who exactly did commit the theft. And they are gone by the time the item gets shipped or by the time you realize that your identity has been taken, they've already disappeared, so it's extremely difficult."
"They can drain your bank account through electronic transfers, so there's numerous ways they can steal your identity."
You should shred tax documents as well. The old rule of thumb was to wait six to seven years before getting rid of old tax returns. But now, experts say just wait three years. To be safe, hold onto tax papers that were unusual, such as an inheritance, or land sale, in case of an audit.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. You can also drop off prescription drugs and old electronics. Personal information will be taken off computers.
Crimestoppers collects a $5 donation for each box you bring.
Channel 13 at 10th and Meridian is just one of the locations for both the Drug Take Back and Shred-It programs.
WTHR- Channel 13 Studios 1000 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis Hosted By: WTHR-Channel 13, Marion County Sheriff's Office and Indianapolis Metro Police Department
Speedway Police Headquarters 1410 North Lynhurst Drive, Speedway Hosted By: Speedway Police Department
Lebanon Municipal Building 401 S. Meridian Street, Lebanon Hosted By: Boone County Sheriff's Office
Greenwood Goodwill Store 709 U.S. Highway 31, Greenwood Hosted By: Greenwood Police Department
Carmel Police Headquarters 3 Civic Square, Carmel Hosted By: Carmel Police Department and WISH TV 8
Lawrence Police Headquarters 9001 E. 59th Street, Lawrence Hosted By: Lawrence Police Department