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Consumers can prevent scams by shredding sensitive documents

NEW YORK, April 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Since tax documents contain some of the most identifying information, AARP New York and state Attorney General Letitia James today launched the first of a statewide series of free shredding events at the Boys and Girls Republic at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan. 

Fight fraud. Shred it! includes 33 paper-shredding events beginning around the state to help New Yorkers safely dispose of their outdated personal papers.

The events continue throughout New York State until May 18, 2024, to coincide with spring cleaning and after taxes are filed.

“We are committed to offering these free opportunities so that New Yorkers will feel empowered to fight back against criminals, who grow more and more sophisticated,” said Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director. “Fraud reports are surging. In 2023, there were 260,000 incidents of fraud throughout the state, according to the Federal Trade Commission. That’s at a cost of $401 million. We’re here to prevent more. Shredding documents is a good first step to destroy documents with identifying information.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “Scammers don’t just cost New Yorkers hundreds of millions of dollars each year, they rob us of our peace of mind, our sense of security, and our dignity. That is why I am proud to partner with AARP to promote this shredding event series throughout the state that will help educate New Yorkers on how to combat scammers and ensure they are able to protect private information through proper disposal of sensitive documents. I encourage anyone who might have been a victim of a scammer to contact my office and file a complaint. As Attorney General, I will always work to protect New Yorkers, and my office will continue to issue consumer alerts and ensure scammers are brought to justice.”

“On behalf of Manhattan’s seniors and their loved ones, I thank AARP for hosting an event that empowers older New Yorkers to protect themselves against fraud, deed theft, and scams. The free shredding service is an excellent way for seniors to securely destroy sensitive papers and take proactive measures to safeguard their personal information,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “These events are a testament to AARP’s commitment to serving our community and helping our seniors live safer and more secure lives.”

“The safety, financial stability, and dignity of our older adult community members are among the highest priorities of Henry Street Settlement,” said David Garza, president and CEO. “We thank the AARP and Attorney General Letitia James for their ongoing vigilance against fraud that particularly targets the most vulnerable individuals. Henry Street is grateful to AARP for holding this important shredding event for the second year running and for its outstanding work to ensure the safety of our older neighbors. Moreover, we commend the Attorney General for her tireless efforts to fight fraud across New York and to protect our community from the profound harm of identity theft.”

The shredding events are being held after Tax Day as people sort out their finances and clear outdated and sensitive documents. 

Criminals are innovative and constantly changing their methods. To slow them down, prevention is key. And knowledge gives individuals power over scammers. AARP will also provide resources during the events to educate consumers about fraud.

AARP launched the Fraud Watch Network to arm Americans with proven tools to fight back against identity theft and scams. The AARP Fraud Watch Network equips people with reliable, up-to-date insights, and a free Fraud Network Helpline is available to help you and your loved ones. 

AARP advocates at the state, federal, and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws.  

Shredding events are held outdoors; some are walk-up and some are drive-thru. All events will be open to the public. Visit aarp.org/NYStopScams for exact dates, times and locations. Those wishing to attend the shredding events must limit materials to three bags. The events conclude when the on-site trucks are full, but the sites may close early if trucks fill up. Paper only and no magazines, newspapers, books, or cardboard. Shredding services are free and open to the public.

The shredding events are being conducted with support from the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the AARP Foundation.

Here’s a spring-cleaning checklist from security experts to rid your home of paper with sensitive info:

  • Old documents: Papers that carry your Social Security number, birthdate, signature, account numbers, passwords or PIN numbers.
  • Banking: Canceled or unused checks. Shred deposit slips and ATM and credit card receipts
  • 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.

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.

Connect with AARP New York on X: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/, www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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.


Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aarp-ny–nys-attorney-general-kick-off-fight-fraud-shred-it-free-events-302121239.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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