The Horry County Sheriff's Office, along with AARP South Carolina and Shred Alert, is hosting a shred event on Friday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. To help fight back against identity theft, the public is encouraged to bring up to three bags or boxes of your old personal information to a mobile shredding truck that will be located at the Horry County Government & Justice Center, 1301 2nd Avenue in Conway. The goal this year is to shred 12,000 lbs. of paper!
Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
One of the biggest ways to protect you against identity theft is to shred personal information. You can also adopt a "need to know" approach to your personal data. For example, the more information you put on your checks like social security number and home phone number, the more chances that information could land in the hands of a criminal.
If you are traveling, have your mail held at your local post office or ask a trusting neighbor to collect your mail while you are away. Also, check your financial information regularly, and look for what should be there and what shouldn't.
For more information about identity theft and how to protect yourself, go to the United States Department of Justice website at http://www. justice.gov/criminal. For more information on the upcoming shred event, contact AARP South Carolina at 866.389.5655.