August 28, 2006
The air was filled with the sound of shredding at News 12's first ever Shred Day.
As News 12's Ryan Duffy shows you, hundreds of people showed up to shred and strike back against identity theft.
The motto of Saturday's Shred Day was: when in doubt, shred it.
The Better Business Bureau, Aiken Augusta Shredding, Columbia County Magazine, and Jiffy Lube all helped News 12 out with this event.
Anything with any personal information, bank accounts, social security numbers, even addresses, was sent to the shredders.
500 people brought in their paperwork by bag and bucket.
A total of 16,000 pounds of receipts, bills, and credit card statements were all shredded.
That's eight tons of paper.
Gene Peavler brought in an entire cooler full of stuff to shred that he'd been saving up and was nervous about throwing it away.
"I had a whole box of stuff in the closet," he said. "Figured someone could break in and steal all my personal ID. Taxes from several years, credit cards, just have to get rid of it."
Maggie Thurmond Dorsey made two trips to bring all the old bills and checks she had been putting off throwing away.
"I had planned on hand shredding all of this, but my mother told me about it, heard the advertisements, and she told me it's free," she said.
Remember, shredding is the most effective and most practical way to prevent identity theft from dumpster diving, where criminals go through the trash to get your information.
If you're looking to shred on your own, a deluxe shredder that cuts through CD's, credit card and staples will run about $250. Target makes a nice small one for $35.
In some cases you are required by law to shred.
If you have even one employee working in your home, like a nanny or yard worker, you are required by federal law to shred.