Shredding season is here! Protect your information!

Protect Yourself From ID Theft For Free!

The 2014 tax season has come to an end. You've probably sorted through plenty of personal documents in the weeks before April 15th. That makes late April the perfect time to get rid of personal information that could do some damage if it falls into the wrong hands.

Ruth to the Rescue found people in downtown Detroit who know the importance of shredding documents, and they worry about identity theft.

"It's always a fear of mine because you hear about it happening all the time," said Jen Homant of Livonia. She added "Just take that extra step and it could save them a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of trouble"

The Better Business Bureau in Southfield is ready to help with its semi-annual "BBB Secure Your ID Day". It's a day to shred all those papers you don't
need, safely and securely.

Fraud experts say it's a good time destroy credit card statements, bills, ATM receipts, pay stubs, and monthly investment statements

However, you should hold onto tax returns for at least seven years. Other documents you should save include: marriage license, lawsuit documents, immigration papers, mortgage paperwork, birth and death certificates, divorce papers, military paperwork, and social security cards.

Where? When? How?

The Better Business Bureau in Southfield, Serving Eastern Michigan is holding it's Semi-Annual "Secure Your ID Day " on Saturday, April 26 .
It will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the agency's office in Southfield .

The Better Business Bureau is partnering with Cintas to provide shredders to destroy personal information consumers no longer need. Cintas will
shred the first three boxes or bags of sensitive papers at no charge. There will be a $10 fee for additional boxes or bags, with the money going to
the BBB Educational Foundation.

In addition to shredding your outdated personal documents, you can also bring along old computers and phones to the same location to be securely

The Better Business Bureau is also working with GEEP Michigan (Global Electric Electronic Processing) to recycle old computers and cell phones.
The devices will be wiped clean to protect personal information that has been stored on the hard drive.

Shredding At Home

Many people told Ruth to the Rescue they do their own shredding at home. That's another good step to protect your personal information. NEVER
throw important documents into the trash without shredding. In fact, you can take additional steps to outsmart identity thieves.

"Don't put it all in the same bag. Put your shredded documents in a few different bags," advised Melanie Duquesnel, CEO of the Better Business
Bureau in Southfield.

Amanda Morabito of Allen Park says she's an overly paranoid person, and she says she'll make scammers work really hard to get her personal

"To make it tougher, I'll put some of the pieces in my cat's litter when I get rid of that," she told Ruth to the Rescue.

If you don't have a shredder at home, the Better Business Bureau may offer the best opportunity to do some spring cleaning of your personal documents.

"You know that you've got security on your side. We are watching your back and it's free.... you might even get here early enough and get a doughnut,"
said Duquesnel.

Remember the event is Saturday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Better Business Bureau Offices at 26777 Central Park Boulevard:

Southfield, Michigan 48076. You must be in line by 12:30 p.m. to take part.

For more information, check the BBB website:

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