Shred Fest: Don't Have Your Identity Stolen - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Shred Fest: Don't Have Your Identity Stolen

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Criminals are coming up with creative ways to steal your identity and make big purchases on your dime. There is a way to protect yourself from theives for free.

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings says his office has dealt with more than 450 cases of identity theft over the last three years. "It's a significant problem," said Dunnings. "It can really ruin your life. It can really impair your credit, your ability to get credit, and it takes a long time to get that repaired."

 How are crooks getting your personal information? Dunnings says the answer could be closer than you think.

"A lot of times, people have been living with somebody, you might let someone stay in your home, they get access to your purse or wallet," he said.

Detective Sergeant Thomas DeClercq with MSP says it's important to pay attention to your bank statements and shred your documents.

"The person that's ultimately responsible for protecting your identity is yourself," said Det. Sgt. DeClercq. He recommends using a cross-cut shredder instead of one that cuts long strips. If you dont' have access to one, Shred Fest on Thursday is the perfect place to get it done.

Once the documents are shredded into one and half-inch pieces, they're compacted into bales that weigh about 2,000 pounds each and are then sent to paper mills to be turned into recycled paper. 

"During Shred Fest, this will be open so people as they're driving through can actually witness their documents being shredded so they can also have reassurance there," said Mike Bass, the manager of Friedland Industries.

Shred Fest will takes place Thursday at Friedland Industries in Lansing and Northwest Refuse in Jackson. Workers will only accept paper at both locations.

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