Houston Community News >>

4/9/2010 Houston – The “Great Bellaire Paper Shred” is set for Saturday, April 17, 9 a.m. to noon, following the April 15 federal income tax deadline, to help citizens minimize their risk of personal identity theft, one of the nation’s most frequent, costly and pervasive crimes. Community National Bank (CNB) and the Bellaire Police Department will sponsor the free public event, which accepts up to 100 pounds of paper per vehicle for on-site shredding in the Iron Mountain® Secure Shredding Unit.

Participants will line their vehicles alongside the commercial shredding unit in Community National Bank’s west side parking lot, 5123 Bellaire Boulevard at South Rice. Bank volunteers will assist each driver on a first-come first-serve basis until the truck reaches its 15,000-pound capacity. The bank also will sponsor a drawing to win a free $100 U.S. Savings Bond. (Two bonds will be awarded.)

Community National Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Randy Dobbs states, “We can’t overemphasize the importance of destroying discarded documents that contain personal identifiers such as tax ID, Social Security and credit, debit, checking, savings and investment account numbers. "Thieves go dumpster diving to retrieve documents that are tossed without shredding. What we call ‘trash day,’ they call ‘cash day.”

Documents must be stored inside paper bags or cardboard boxes -- papers still inside filing cabinets or plastic bags will not be accepted. After Iron Mountain shreds the paper, it is unreadable in a matter of seconds, then baled and recycled at a fiber pulp mill so it is no longer recognizable in its previous form.

Identity theft may be the largest white-collar crime in the history of the United States. Approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling upwards of $50 billion. Criminal identity theft occurs when an imposter gives another person's name and personal information such as a drivers' license, date of birth, or Social Security number to obtain a job, housing, money, goods, or other services, according to Kroll Background America.