For Immediate Release:
Friday, May 17, 2019

Protect Your Identity: NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Hosts 12th Annual Shred Fest

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Promotes Identity Theft Prevention with Two-Day Free Paper Shredding Event

PHOTO OP: Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas will be available for interviews in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the parking lot at 111th Street b/t 54th and 56th Avenues on Saturday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. (rain or shine).

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly Consumer Affairs (DCA)—Commissioner Lorelei Salas today encouraged New Yorkers to come to DCWP’s 12th annual Shred Fest – a free paper-shredding citywide event that aims to increase public awareness about identity theft prevention. On Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, New Yorkers can shred their personal documents – mail, old bank statements, paycheck stubs, credit card applications, and more – for free throughout the five boroughs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (latest) or until the shredding trucks are filled, which may be sooner. At each of the 10 locations, documents will be shredded in industrial shredders with mounted TV monitors so consumers can verify that their personal materials have been properly and securely shredded. All shredded material is then securely disposed of and recycled. Shred Fest is hosted in cooperation with the Department of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Sanitation, NYPD, and Municipal Credit Union.

“With data breaches on the rise, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers have a safe and secure place to dispose of their personal documents and safeguard themselves from identity theft,” said DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “Documents that contain sensitive information can be used by scammers to open fraudulent accounts in your name, and these materials should be handled carefully. I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of the 12th annual Shred Fest and visit nyc.gov/ShredFest for identity theft prevention tips.”

New Yorkers are invited to bring mail and other documents that contain personal information to be shredded and securely disposed. Stapled documents can be shredded, however, documents bound with metal binder clips cannot. Suggested documents include:

  • Bank statements that are at least one year old and do not contain tax-related information
  • Pay stubs (only after you have received your W-2 Form)
  • Credit card applications
  • Documents that contain your Social Security Number, account numbers, password/PIN information, birth dates, private contact information and signatures

“The annual Shred Fest is about raising public awareness, and meeting in a communal space to combat identity theft,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Parks is happy to provide greenspaces that can serve as community hubs where people can meet to effectuate change.”

“The annual Shred Fest event provides New Yorkers with the opportunity to protect themselves from identify theft by shredding and safely disposing any unwanted personal information documents,” said Acting Sanitation Commissioner Steven Costas. “This event carries environmental benefits as well; the tons of shredded paper collected will be taken to the proper facilities for recycling.”

“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States with approximately 60 million Americans affected,” said Mark Ricca, President and CEO of Municipal Credit Union. “It is imperative to Municipal Credit Union that we assist in educating our members and the residents of NYC through our Financially Fit Series on best practices to safeguard their personal information. By partnering with DCWP for its 12th annual Shred Fest, we are helping to provide a safe and secure space for the disposal of personal information. We encourage all New Yorkers to visit one of the 10 locations provided throughout the five boroughs, including the two Municipal Credit Union Branch locations (Springfield & Co-op City).”

“Confidential Shredding employs the most state-of-the-art methods of destroying sensitive information,” said Neil Wagman, Director of Sales at Confidential Shredding. “Our mission is to streamline this process for our clients while providing an efficient, secure and cost-effective means of protecting their information.

“Shred Fest is an opportunity for residents within the five boroughs to take a proactive approach to identity theft protection,” said Jason Fredricks, Founder and Vice-President of Legal Shred. “Legal Shred is honored to partner with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection again this year, and to be part of their efforts to educate the public about safe document destruction.”

“For all those that can participate in this FREE shredding event that the wonderful people at the NYC DCWP work tirelessly to put together year after year, great! You are truly enjoying peace of mind at no cost to you. Just come early, because as we have seen year after year, the sites get busy quick and the shredding trucks—despite all the tonnage they can hold—do fill up, so come early,” said Rummy Blau, General Manager at Shred Up. “And for those that unfortunately cannot make it to the event please remember that with Shred Up, peace of mind is guaranteed year-round. We serve companies and individuals across New York, New Jersey and beyond – securely and responsibly disposing of their confidential documents. Destroy to protect.”

“USA Shred is excited to be invited back for the 2019 Shred Fest Event,” said Michael Sheehan, USA Shred General Manager. “We are proud to be a selected vendor to help the New York City residents in their identity theft prevention efforts. Security shredding is an important part of our day-to-day lives now, and we are happy to help raise awareness about this serious crime that affects thousands of lives annually.”

Shred Fest is part of DCWP’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the steps New Yorkers can take to prevent identity theft. Last year, more than 3,600 New Yorkers participated in Shred Fest, shredding more than 66 tons of personal documents. More than 640 tons of personal documents have been shredded at Shred Fest since its inception in 2008. For a list of all locations and identity theft prevention tips, visit nyc.gov/ShredFest or call 311 and be sure to use #ShredFest on social media platforms to spread the word about this event.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit us at nyc.gov/dca or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Abigail Lootens
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042
press@dca.nyc.gov

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