Houston Community News >> The Great Bellaire Paper Shred

4/30/2007 Bellaire, TX-- Did you know personal identity theft is the fastest growing crime of consumer fraud and for seven years in a row has topped the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint list? Community National Bank (CNB) and the Bellaire Police Department are joining forces for the fourth consecutive “Great Bellaire Paper Shred” Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. to noon, to provide free document shredding to help local citizens minimize the risk of becoming victims of identity theft. An estimated 9.3 million Americans have reported being victims of such crimes, according to a 2006 Justice Department study.

Individuals may bring up to 100 pounds of paper to feed into the Iron Mountain® Secure Shredding mobile unit parked in front of the bank, 5123 Bellaire Boulevard at South Rice. The unit holds up to 15,000 pounds of paper.

"We cannot overemphasize the importance of destroying discarded documents that contain personal identifiers and account numbers," said Community National Bank Chairman/CEO Randy Dobbs. "You just don't want that information to get into the wrong hands." Bellaire Police Chief Randy Mack noted, “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the reports of ID theft. A lot comes from the Internet and a lot also comes from the paper trail,” he said.

The Justice Department findings stated an estimated 3.6 million U.S. households – or about three out of every 100 – reported being victims of identity theft. About 900,000 households experienced theft from other types of existing accounts, such as a cell phone account, bank account or debit-checking account. That is one-quarter percent of households with thefts and 0.8 percent of all U.S. households.
According to the National Association for Information Destruction, the following documents should be shredded when discarded:
• Pre-approved credit applications, credit card statements and expired charge cards
• Personal medical records and physician statements
• Tax preparation worksheets, obsolete financial records and receipts
• Insurance forms, telephone bills, cancelled checks and bank statements
• Mail, old records and mailing labels from magazines
After Iron Mountain shreds the paper, it is baled and then recycled at a fiber pulp mill so it is no longer recognizable in its previous form.

Statistics show that the average fraudulent debt added to a victim's credit can exceed $20,000. It costs the average victim more than $1,000 to cope with the damage to their accounts and reputations and it takes the average identity theft victim two years to clear their name and repair their credit report. Identity theft costs American businesses an estimated $1 billion annually.

Community National Bank, an independent bank in Bellaire, is located at 5123 Bellaire Boulevard at South Rice. Its lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The drive-through bank, 5235 Bellaire Boulevard at Ferris Street, is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon. The FDIC insures the deposits of Community National Bank, an equal opportunity lender.

For further information, call (713) 664-4777 or go to the web, www.commnatlbank.com  24 hours a day, seven days a week.