HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Almost 600 people right here in Hawaii had their identities stolen last year. National Protect Your Identity week is coming up, and it bears repeating. It takes very little for thieves to steal your identity. Your name, address, birthdate, phone number - that's all they need.
Got junk mail? Don't just toss it.
"Anything that comes in the mail that has your information on it that you don't need, you always want to shred it. Id thieves go through mail," says the Hawaii Better Business Bureau's Tim Caminos.
220 million worldwide had their identities stolen in the last three years - a crime that continues to climb.
"Say someone has your address, your name, maybe a stolen credit card and they create a fake ID. They take that and they get a real driver's license. They take that driver's license, and they get into your credit report," adds Caminos.
Hawaii's BBB says it may seem like common sense, but consumers and small businesses need to take further steps to protect themselves.
Papers, obviously, aren't the only things thieves target. How about computer hard drives, CPUs, laptops, printers. At the BBB's "Secure your ID Day", they take all that E-waste you're not using and destroy it. And mobile phones are collected, refurbished, and donated to victims of domestic violence. Phone carriers can help customers delete all personal information, if you're not sure how to, before you recycle it.
Bottom line: to protect your bottom line, a shredder could be your best defense in keeping you ... YOU.
This Saturday, October 20th, you can bring old electronics and three boxes of paper waste to the "Secure Your ID Day" at Mckinley high school, Aina Haina elementary, or the Access Information Management Oahu Destruction Center in Aiea. For more information, go to hawaii.bbb.org.