Identity Theft Widespread in Early Part of the Year - 8 News NOW

Identity Theft Widespread in Early Part of the Year

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LAS VEGAS - Identity theft affects at least 15 million people every year and costs them more than $50 million. The crime is particularly prevalent this time of year.

From now until April 15th, identity thieves are working overtime, because this is the best time of year for them to steal your personal information. During tax season, if they can get your Social Security number, they can steal your refund.

That happened to Tullia and Vito Lonardo. 8 on Your Side met them in October when they asked for help getting their tax refund. They thought it was simply delayed. A scammer actually filed a return with Vito's Social Security number months earlier. To this day, they still don't have their refund check.

One way to avoid becoming the victim of identity theft is to shred everything. 8 News NOW will help people do that at its Super Saturday Recycle event January 26th at the Thomas and Mack Center.

Learn More About the Super Saturday Recycle

Crews won't shred documents into strips or confetti that criminals can piece back together. The documents will be obliterated.

"What we are doing is a pierce and tear method that pulls the paper apart, so trying to put it back together is pretty tough," said Ray Bracha with Cintas.

You can bring up to four boxes of documents to be shredded for free. You can also bring computers, cell phones and other items that hold personal information. If you bring hard drives, those can be wiped clean and recycled for $15.

"We find that physically destroying the device such as a cell phone or hard drive is a sure way to make sure the data is completely destroyed," said All-Green Electronics Recycling CEO and Founder Arman Sadeghi. "At our facility, we have trained staff to put things through Department of Defense standards with seven-pass wipe."

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It historically draws huge crowds, so you are urged to arrive early.

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