Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall will host its second annual free Community Shred Day at the park on Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Residents may bring up to four boxes of paper documents to be shredded at no charge. Staples and paper clips may be left on the documents, but binders, CDs, DVDs or other media will not be accepted.
Eternal Valley Memorial Park is located at 23287 Sierra Hwy., Newhall 91321.
Identity theft claims more than 17 million victims nationally every year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice statistics.
Eternal Valley sought to address this widespread epidemic by creating Community Shred Day, a way to help community members properly dispose of personal, confidential documents that might be used in identity theft.
“We’ve seen the turmoil and emotional stress that identity theft brings victims of all ages,” said Curtis Woods, Eternal Valley Memorial Park general manager. “Community Shred Day is designed to help our community members protect themselves, and we are honored to host this event once again, and to work with local businesses to enhance the safety and security of our neighbors.”
Along with shredding confidential and personal documents, there are other precautions residents can take to prevent identity theft. Here are more tips from law enforcement officials:
• Keep personal and identifying information locked in a safe, away from visitors and contractors or caregivers. Bank, credit cards and medical statements, as well as other personal documents, offer a wealth of identifying information.
• Have mail delivered to a post office box instead of a home address. If it’s not possible to pick mail up from a mailbox, make arrangements with the post office to have mail delivered directly to the door.
• Always take outgoing mail to the post office or to a locked mailbox rather than letting it sit in an outside mailbox.
• Opt out of direct mail credit offers by calling the Federal Trade Commission’s OPTOUT line at 1-888-567-8688. These solicitations contain personal information that identity thieves look for in trash cans.
• Don’t carry social security cards in a purse or wallet. Memorize the number and keep the card locked in a safe or safe deposit box.
• Have paper checks delivered to a post office box or to the issuing financial institution.
• Don’t include your home phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, or date of birth on your checks.
• When ordering checks, use only your first and middle initials with your last name, but sign the bank signature card and checks with your full name. This will alert the bank to any suspicious activity.
• Ask the bank to change an ATM debit card to an ATM-only card. These require a pin number and can only be used to withdraw money from an ATM, and then only with the correct pin number.
• When paying credit card bills by check, write only the last four digits of the account number on the check memo line.
• Don’t sign the back of credit and debit cards. Instead, write “PHOTO I.D. REQUIRED FOR USE” in the signature space. When a merchant takes the card to verify it, they should request your ID before completing the transaction.
About Eternal Valley Memorial Park
Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary COA 184, FD 1163 in Newhall, Calif., is a proud Dignity Memorial provider. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,800 funeral, creation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, call (661) 259-0800 or visit Eternal Valley’s website.