Renasant Bank Hosts Annual Valdosta Shred-A-Thon Event on April 22nd
Monday, April 10th, 2017
Maybe you don't think you’re at risk for identity theft because you are careful to not throw away anything with your social security number written on it. Or maybe you stash all your personal information at home? According to Heather Nichols, Eastern Region Marketing Manager for Renasant Bank, you may not be as safe as you think and it’s time to shred that personal evidence before it falls into the wrong hands.
“A crook doesn’t necessarily need your social security number to steal your good name,” Nichols says. “For example, a fraudster could give your name and address in a legal matter and leave you with their crime. Or, the crook could use a stolen check with your name, address and account number to make telephone or online purchases.”
And she adds that it isn’t always a dumpster diver who retrieves your sensitive information.
“In 2014, 550,000 individuals reported their identities compromised by someone they knew (Javelin Strategy and Research). So, even personal information left in your desk drawer could become a target for a nosey housekeeper or not so friendly ‘friend.’”
And with the Georgia Department of Consumer Protection reporting more than 490,000 complaints related to identity theft in 2015, Renasant Bank is once again offering a valuable service to keep you safe. Renasant Bank will host the annual community Shred-A-Thon event on April 22 from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Renasant Bank location at 3295 Inner Perimeter Road in Valdosta. The event is open to the public, and there is no charge for shredding documents. Participants are asked to limit printed material to two boxes per person.
“This is an event we started several years ago when cybersecurity was the hot topic,” Nichols adds. “While cybercrimes are certainly a significant issue and everyone should take care to keep their information safe online, we wanted to remind folks that common paper can be just as valuable to a crook as a stolen database.”
She also says there has been a small decline in reported cases of identity theft this past year so she and her team feel these types of paper shredding events are making a difference.
“Since our first Shred-A-Thon, I’ve had the privilege of hearing customers say things like, ‘I bring you a new box of documents to be shred every year.’ So, I know the service is needed and Renasant greatly appreciates our community’s support.”
And helping the community is an important motivator for the event. Nichols notes the stories they hear about the effects of identity theft are heartbreaking.
“Identity theft can crush a victim and the costs to a community are immeasurable,” she explains. “One of our banking customers lost her identity to her ex-husband’s friend who found old tax returns in their former home. She discovered the crime when she went to purchase a car and her credit was declined. She describes the task of correcting the injustice as a fulltime job. It took her weeks just to sort out the damage caused. Then, it took several years and a name change before she was able to purchase a home. Even her business suffered because she was unable to secure funds for her growing sole-proprietorship. Chances are good you know someone with a similar story.”
For more information on Renasant Bank’s Shred-A-Thon event on April 22 from 9 a.m.-noon, please 1-800-680-1601.