Identity theft affects approximately 1 million Americans each year. For well over 11 years, the Federal Trade Commission reported that identity theft was the number-one consumer complaint category, with 19 percent of the complaints nationwide. In 2010 there were 9,000 cases of identity theft reported in Pennsylvania.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to borrow money, establish credit and even commit crimes. The Identity Fraud Consumer Report from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 43 percent of identity theft incidents were linked to stolen or lost wallets, checkbooks and credit/debit cards.
In an effort to assist residents who would like to protect their identity, I invite you to a FREE paper shredding and electronic recycling event on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crafton Park. I invite constituents to shred documents that contain personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers. In addition, you may want to shred expired credit cards, bank statements, canceled checks and insurance records.
In partnership with eLoop, we will also be accepting items for recycling such as desktop and notebook PCs, printers, copiers, televisions, VCRs, small kitchen appliances, stereo equipment, cameras, telephones and DVD players.
We are also accepting used cellular phones and chargers to donate to the Women’s Center and Shelter and collecting donated canned good for a local food bank.
For additional information on identity theft protection, you may visit the following web sites: The Pennsylvania Identity Theft Web Site www.identitytheftactionplan.com; PA Attorney General’s Office—Bureau of Consumer Protection www.attorneygeneral.gov and the Identity Theft Resource Center www.idtheftcenter.org.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Visit my website at www.pahouse.com/Deasy and sign up for my Email Alerts and to share your ideas. If I can be of service in any state-related matter, please call my office at 412-928-9514.
District Office: 436 S Main Street, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 (412) 928-9514.