Start gathering sensitive documents for Stillwater Public Library’s Jan. 27 shred

Story provided by Stillwater Public Library

The Stillwater Public Library will host its community-wide shredding event on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 9-11 a.m. Each car may bring two copy paper sized boxes full of sensitive documents to be shredded securely.

The shredding event is free, but donations will be accepted to pay for the use of the shredder.

“Identity theft is a frequent problem in our community,” said Stillwater Police Captain Kyle Gibbs. “Thieves can do an extensive amount of damage to your credit and bank account in a short amount of time with the right information about you. One of the best ways to protect yourself is by totally destroying any documents with personal information before you dispose of them.”

Residents can easily take this preventative measure by attending the library’s drive-thru event where documents will be unloaded and shredded on the spot. Shredding will be performed on site by Shred Away, a local document destruction company. Staples and paper clips do not need to be removed from the documents.

Items to consider shredding include material containing account numbers, social security numbers, private correspondence, bank statements, bills, passwords or signatures. Many people also bring unsolicited mail like pre-approved credit card offers.

One category of often overlooked documents is material containing medical account information. Although many people will shred documents that contain diagnosis information, they may be more likely to discard items that contain things like prescription or medical plan account numbers.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this type of identity theft is on the rise. A thief may use this information to see a doctor, get prescription drugs and file claims through the account holder’s insurance provider. If that occurs, and the account holder’s medical information is intermixed with that of the thief, not only will benefits and credit be jeopardized, but medical treatment may be affected as well.

The FTC advises consumers to shred outdated health insurance forms and cards, prescription and physician statements and even the labels from prescription bottles before they are thrown in the garbage.

Get more information on identity theft and document retention at http://library.stillwater.org/annual_shredding_event.php.

For more information about the shredding event, visit the library’s website at http://library.stillwater.org, call (405) 372-3633 or email askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.