‘Shred Fest 2016’ helps NY city consumers avoid risk of identity theft

NEW YORK NY – As part of its ongoing efforts to help consumers avoid falling victim to identity theft, AARP New York is joining with New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to sponsor “Shred Fest 2016” a series of events to provide free shredding ofpersonal financial documents and other sensitive records.

The Shred Fest will launch statewide on Tuesday, April 26 at Manhattan Plaza, located on West 43rd Street, between 9th and 10th avenues. Shredding service begins at 11 am and will continue until 2 pm, or until the on-site shredding service trucks reach full capacity.

“Identity thieves are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to target and take advantage of victims especially seniors,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “Shred Fest is an excellent opportunity to keep these scammers from getting a hold of your sensitive personal information.”

In 2015 New York State residents registered over 100.000 complaints about fraud with the Federal Trade Commission.

“Identity thieves routinely search through dumpsters and trash cans, looking to find confidential information. Our Shred Fest 2016 events will allow consumers to discard this paperwork in a safe and secure manner,” said Beth Finkel, state director of AARP New York. “Financial fraud causes millions of dollars in losses each year. With the tax-filing season behind us, we’re encouraging taxpayers to do a spring cleaning oftheir old financialdocuments and other records.”

Additional Shred Fest events in New York City are taking place in Harlem, Queens, and Staten Island:

• April 26, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1333 Bay St., Staten Island, NY; Noon – 3 pm or until truck is full;

• April 27 Adam Clayton Powell State Office, 163 West 125th Street, NY; 11 am – 2 pm or until truck is full;

• April 28, Bowne Park, 32nd Ave. & 15ih St., Flushing, NY; Noon – 3 pm or until truck is full;

• April 29, Rochdale Village Mall , 169-65 137th Ave., Jamaica, NY; 11 am – 2 pm or until truck is full;

• April 30, First Baptist Church, 100-10 Astoria Blvd., East Elmhurst, NY; 10 am – 1 pm or until truck is full.

The New York City events are part ofa series of Shred Fest 2016 events scheduled for communities across New York State and the nation during Money Smart Week® April 23-30, with support from the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the AARP Foundation.

A full list of events in New York State can be found here on the AARP New York web site.

To avoid having your sensitive information compromised, security experts recommend shredding of the following types of materials:

• Old documents: Papers that carry your Social Security number, birth date, signature, account numbers, passwords or PIN numbers.

• Banking: Canceled or unused checks. Shred deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts, once you receive your monthly statements.

• Credit Cards: Preapproved credit card applications and incentive/gift checks from credit card companies.

• Medical: unneeded medical bills.

• Investments: Investment account statements.

• Obsolete ID cards: Expired driver’s licenses, medical insurance cards and passports.

Shred Fest 2016 events are being held in 12 locations in New York State and at least 37 other states next week. Residents of other communities who wish to take advantage of a Shred Fest event may refer to online schedule. And for those consumers who use a home shredder, experts also recommend the use of a micro-cut model. Tests have shown that the scraps of paper from a straight or cross-cut shredder can be reassembled by identity thieves. With a micro-cut shredder, the paper is rendered into impossible-to-reassemble debris.

More information on how to keep yourself safe from identity theft fraud, and alerts regarding other types of scams, is available from the Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork.

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Shredding services will be performed by a third party. All documents and information provided for shredding are subject to that party’s privacy and informational security policies.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership ofnearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities andfights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protectionf rom fi nancial abuse. We advocate/or individual in the marketplace by selecting products and services ofhigh quality and value to carry the AARP name as well a help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Espaiiol, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with supportfrom thousands ofvolunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District ofColumbia, Puerto Rico, and the u.s. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aam.org.

About the AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being aforcefor change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation . By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs ofthose 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity.

Learn more at www.aarplounclalion.org.

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