Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, April 03, 2006

Shred - it - Crime Stoppers

Shred - it - Crime Stoppers

Media Contacts: Crime Stoppers - Janice Van Houten 859-9700

Shred-it - Gary Helsley 859-2052

Boise, April 5, 2006 – Boise area Crime Stoppers is teaming with the Shred-it Security Company to give consumers an easy, free way to shred documents, a key step in preventing identity theft.

Shred-it mobile trucks will be at area Wal-Mart stores this month, shredding documents free of charge. Consumers are invited to bring all the personal documents they can carry for shredding. Representative from Crime Stoppers will also be available on site to offer consumers tips on how they can protect themselves against identity theft. Donations for the Crime Stoppers program will also be taken.

  • Saturday, April 8 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Jerome Wal-Mart
  • Saturday, April 22 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Nampa Wal-Mart
  • Saturday, April 29 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Meridian Wal- Mart

Background:

Stats on Identity Theft:

Boise Police took many fraud related reports last year, but five reports specifically of identity theft in 2005. That’s an increase of four cases in 2004 and no cases reported in 2003.

The Idaho Attorney General reports 600 identity theft complaints statewide in 2004, up from 493 reports statewide in 2003.

The Federal Trade Commission says consumers reported losses of more than $680 million from fraud in 2005, with the majority of cases occurring from lost or stolen wallets and theft of paper or mail.

The FTC estimates the average victim of identity theft spends 200 to 600 hours and $1,500 to restore their identity.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft provided by the Boise Police Department:

  • Review monthly credit card and bank statements thoroughly and question any item that appears inaccurate.
  • Shred or tear up pre-approved credit card or loan offers before throwing them away.
  • Shred or tear up old bank and credit card statements, cancelled checks and other financial documents before disposal.
  • If bank or credit card statements do not arrive on time, call the issuer to make sure they are being sent to the proper address. A thief may steal or divert your statements in order to hide illegal credit activity.
  • If you receive a credit card in the mail you did not request, call the issuer to find out why it was sent to you. If someone else requested it in your name, cancel it immediately.
  • Do not carry your social security card unless it is needed for a job application.