For Immediate Release:
Friday, May 18, 2018
Protect Your Identity: NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Hosts 11th Annual Shred Fest
Department of Consumer Affairs Promotes Identity Theft Prevention with Two Day Free Paper Shredding Event
PHOTO OP: Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas will be available for interviews in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the parking lot located at 111th Street b/t 54th and 56th Avenues on Saturday, May 19th 10 – 11 a.m. (rain or shine).
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced DCA’s 11th annual Shred Fest – a free paper-shredding citywide event that aims to increase public awareness about identity theft prevention. On Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, New Yorkers can shred their personal documents – mail, old bank statements, paycheck stubs, credit card applications, and more – for free at 10 locations each day 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 location, 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 DCA 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 11th 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 ShredFest events across the city provide New Yorkers with the opportunity to protect themselves from identify theft by shredding and safely disposing any unwanted personal information documents,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “These events carry environmental benefits as well; the tons of shredded paper collected will be taken to the proper facilities for recycling.”
“Municipal Credit Union (MCU) is proud to partner with the Department of Consumer Affairs for its 11th Annual ShredFest,” said Corey Fernandes, VP of Business Development/Member Relations at Municipal Credit Union. “ShredFest gives the residents of New York City and MCU Members an opportunity to discard sensitive documents in a safe and secure manner, minimizing the chances of Identity Theft. We encourage the public to participate in the 2018 ShredFest event.”
“Confidential Shredding provides the most state-of-the-art methods of destroying sensitive information,” said Neil Wagman, Business Development Manager at Confidential Shredding. “Our mission is to streamline this process for our clients - to provide an efficient, secure and cost effective means of protecting their information.”
“With identity theft at an all time high, we applaud the City of New York’s commitment to the protection of identities and consumer awareness through the annual Shred Fest,” said Sean Fredricks, Legal Shred CEO. “Legal Shred is thrilled to be a part of this effort again this year.”
“USA Shred is excited to participate in the 2018 ShredFest 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 DCA’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the steps New Yorkers can take to prevent identity theft. Consumers can read our tips on how to protect themselves from credit and debit card fraud
as high-tech thieves are using “skimmers” to steal consumers’ credit card and PIN numbers. Last year, more than 3,000 New Yorkers
participated in Shred Fest, shredding more than 76 tons
of personal documents. More than 573 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.
Free shredding will be available at the following locations across the city until 4 p.m. or until trucks are filled, which may be sooner:
SATURDAY, MAY 19th
Franz Sigel Park
Grand Concourse between 157th Street & 158th Street
Cadman Plaza Park
Cadman Plaza West; opposite Clark Street
St. Nicholas Park
Corner of West 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Parking lot; 111th Street between 54th Avenue to 56th Avenue
Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach
Parking lot 8; Father Capodanno Blvd. at Lincoln Avenue
SUNDAY, MAY 20thh
Triangle Plaza at Co-op City Blvd. and Rombouts Avenue; next to Municipal Credit Union
Prospect Park West and 3rd Street
Union Square Park
South Plaza near 14th Street and Union Square East
Springfield Gardens-Stop & Shop Shopping Center
Springfield Blvd. between Merrick Blvd. and 135th Avenue
Parking lot adjacent to archery range near Eton Place entrance
IT’S YOUR IDENTITY…PROTECT IT! FOLLOW THESE TIPS:
Protect Your Personal Information
- Be alert to suspicious offers by phone, mail, text, and email. Avoid giving personal information over the phone, by email, text, or on social media sites. Never click on unfamiliar links even if they are from sources you trust; they could be “phishing” scams that trick you into sharing personal information by looking trustworthy. And remember email addresses and phone numbers can be spoofed (or faked) to look like they are from someone you know.
- Protect your computer, tablet, and smartphone against viruses and “malware” with security and firewall software. Avoid typing your personal information when using unsecured Wi-Fi; create strong, personal passwords; and only download software and apps from trusted sources. Don’t overshare personal information on social media sites and be cautious with geotagging software. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information on how to be safe, secure, and responsible online.
- Be careful when using public computers. Delete any personal documents and empty the Recycle Bin on the desktop before you log off. Check Internet settings and make sure the computer is set to delete your browsing history. Never use your credit or debit card to make online purchases on public computers.
- Review your free credit report every year. As one way to see if you have been the victim of identity theft, download your free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com.
- Limit the cards you carry with you. Only carry credit or debit cards you plan to use and store others in a safe place. Never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet.
Monitor Your Mail
- Be aware when your monthly bills and account statements typically arrive. Be on alert for missing statements in the mail. Sign up for electronic statements and online bill pay to avoid the risk of an identity thief using your mail.
- Review your bank and credit card statements for unusual activity. Even a few minutes’ look can alert you early to a problem.
- Put your mail on hold when you go on vacation. Visit usps.com/holdmail or call 1-800-275-8777 to request Hold Mail Service.
Be Aware When Shopping
- Check receipts. Make sure receipts do not show your credit card’s expiration date or more than its last five digits. The law requires this of New York City businesses.
- Keep your eye on your credit card when making a purchase. Some employees have used handheld machines illegally to swipe card information and use it later to hack into accounts.
- Just shred it! Machine shred papers you no longer need to save, rather than throwing them out, if they contain personal information such as your:
- Social Security Number
- Bank and credit card account numbers
- Password/PIN information
- Birth date
- Private contact information
- Go paperless. Request online account statements and pay online whenever possible.
ALREADY AN IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM? TAKE ACTION QUICKLY:
- Close all fraudulent accounts. Call the Fraud Department of each company where an account was fraudulently opened in your name or shows purchases you did not make.
- Report it. Report identity theft to your local police precinct and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338). Keep copies of the report and the complaint.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion. By placing a fraud alert on your credit report, creditors must contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. Carefully document all correspondence.
- Consider free, one-on-one, professional financial counseling. Call 311 to make an appointment or visit nyc.gov/dca for more information.
IS YOUR BUSINESS PROTECTING CUSTOMERS’ INFORMATION? HERE’S HOW:
- Ask for ID. Employees should ask for identification when customers pay by credit card. If employees are suspicious of a transaction and think the card may be stolen, they should call the store’s credit card processing service and report “Code 10.” This phrase unobtrusively alerts the credit card company of potential identity theft activity.
- Collect less information. Only collect the information necessary to complete the transaction and store it only as long as needed. The less customer information you store, the less you have to protect.
- Restrict access. Make sure documents that contain customers’ identifying information, such as applications or merchant copies of credit card receipts, are not in sight of employees or the public, or otherwise accessible. A locked storage space can offer good protection.
- Safeguard computers. Install antivirus and firewall software on computers and regularly update it. Make sure that password-protected screen savers turn on once a computer is idle.
- Stay current with online security measures. Your technology manager should remain aware of new issues or areas of concern in online security. Check with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov for recommended resources about technology updates. Use the Federal Communications Commission’s Small Biz Cyber planner at fcc.gov/cyberplanner to create a custom cyber security plan for your company.
Gloria Chin / Christine Gianakis
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0393 firstname.lastname@example.org
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA 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, DCA 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, DCA 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. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA at nyc.gov/dca or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.