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Sherri Richards, Published October 18 2009

The Village hosts event promoting identity protection

The cardboard box was overflowing with old bank statements, cancelled checks, Medicare paperwork – documents filled with personal information.

Cheryl Narum of Fargo had recently gotten all these papers out of her mother’s house, which is up for sale. Her mom had suffered a stroke and is now in an assisted-living facility.

Narum was concerned about storing it all, or spending hours at her small shredder. Then she read about Secure Your ID Day on Saturday at Wells Fargo Bank, 2501 13th Ave. S., Fargo. The event provided free document destruction.

Narum brought the box to the bank and, minutes later, was rid of the documents.

“This is a very nice service,” she said. “Now I have lots of empty file drawers.”

This week is National Protect Your Identity Week, meant to help consumers protect themselves against identity theft.

According to statistics provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, nearly 10 million Americans were victims of identity theft fraud in 2008.

“What I know of identity theft, the majority of it comes from people being careless of how they discard their personal information,” said Sal Di Leo of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota, which co-sponsored the Secure Your ID Day event. “Most people don’t know where to go, because of the fear in the marketplace.”

The documents brought to Wells Fargo on Saturday were to be destroyed by the Recall Corp. The papers were dumped into bins and then into to a secure truck. The papers are transferred to a local document destruction facility, made unreadable, and then transported to a paper mill where they are pulped and recycled.

About 100 people brought in documents Saturday. Each person was allowed one box of papers.

Di Leo said the event will continue to be offered locally twice a year, in April and October.

The Village Family Service Center in Fargo is also offering document shredding Wednesday through Friday in its parking lot.

DiLeo said people need outlets for document destruction. One woman said she could have brought in four boxes of personal papers.

“People gather so much stuff and don’t know where to go,” he said.

Secure your ID




If you go

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556