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Prevent Identity Theft by Shredding Documents

County kick-off of 2013 shredding events is April 13

The Somerset County Board of Freeholders and the county’s Consumer Protection and Records Management offices will be sponsoring 11 “Operation Secure Shred” events throughout the county in 2013 for county residents, starting April 13.

The kick-off event will be held at a county facility. For the convenience of residents, subsequent events will be hosted by various municipalities around the county, with assistance from Somerset County . All shredding events will be held on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

“Properly disposing of personal documents is a necessary step in safeguarding and protecting your personal information and credit and preventing identify theft,” said Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh, consumer protection / records management liaison. “We are pleased to be able to provide this service again this year to our residents, in collaboration with our municipalities.

“Residents from all 21 Somerset County municipalities are invited to have personal documents shredded at as many free, on-site, mobile paper-shredding events as they wish to attend. Residents do not have to reside in a town hosting an event to participate,” she said.

The county-hosted first shredding event will be held on April 13, at the Somerset County Public Works Garage, located at 410 Roycefield Road in Hillsborough, N.J. 08844 . Shredding will continue throughout the scheduled hours, with two trucks on-site.  The South County Public Works Garage can be reached from Route 206 to Dukes Parkway West , left to Roycefield Road .  Complete directions are available at bit.ly/WrKn0e.

Documents will be commercially shredded safely, privately and properly by trained, licensed and bonded document-destruction specialists.  Staples and paperclips do not have to be removed. Residents may bring documents in up to six boxes, containers or bags per visit and will be asked to take back their receptacles.  Participants may stay and watch as their documents are shred, if they wish. The following recyclable items will not be accepted: junk mail, magazines or newspapers.

Additional shredding events will be held at various municipal locations as follows: May 18 at Montgomery Fire Co. No. 1 in Belle Mead-33 Griggstown Road; June 1 in Hillsborough at the Auten Road School parking lot-281 Auten Road; June 15 at the Watchung Police Facility parking lot-840 Somerset St.; June 22 at the Bridgewater Municipal Building parking lot-100 Commons Way; June 29 at the Bedminster Public Works parking lot-75 Miller Lane; Sept. 7 at the Franklin Municipal Building parking lot-475 DeMott Lane in Somerset; Sept. 21 at the Bound Brook commuter parking lot-100 East Main St., across from Dunkin Donuts; Sept. 28 at the Branchburg Municipal Building parking lot-1077 U.S. Highway 202 North; Oct. 12 at the Bernards Engineering Services parking lot-277 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge; and Oct. 19 at the Green Brook Municipal Building parking lot-111 Green Brook Road.

For more information about locations of the municipal shredding events, contact the towns directly. A listing of towns in Somerset County can be found on the county’s website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/towndir.html. A listing of the events and addresses is available at www.co.somerset.nj.us/spotlight.html.

According to the “2013 Identity Fraud Report” released in February 2013 by Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2012, identity fraud incidents increased by more than one million victims and fraudsters stole more than $21 billion, the highest amount since 2009. The study found 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the United States in the past year, which equates to one victim every three seconds.

If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission provides a comprehensive 68-page booklet titled “Taking Charge: What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen” at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0009-taking-charge.pdf.

For further information, contact the Somerset County Division of Consumer Protection at 908-203-6080 or consumerprotection@co.somerset.nj.us or Records Management at 908-203-6018 or recordsmgmt@co.somerset.nj.us.