Houston Community News >>

4/2/2009 Houston, TX -- Houston-area citizens can help protect themselves against personal identity theft, one of the nation’s fastest growing crimes, at the “Great Bellaire Paper Shred” April 18, the first Saturday after the April 15 federal income tax deadline. Sponsored by Community National Bank (CNB) and the Bellaire Police Department, the free public document-shredding event will feature the Iron Mountain® Secure Shredding mobile unit in front of the bank, 5123 Bellaire Boulevard at South Rice, from 9 a.m. to noon, to shred documents and help citizens minimize their risk of personal identity theft.

(L to R: Bellaire Police Community Resource Officer Tim Quimby, Community National Bank Chairman and CEO Randy Dobbs, and Iron Mountain Regional Sales Manager Josh Beller are preparing for the “Great Bellaire Paper Shred” Saturday, April 18, 9 a.m. to noon)

"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," said Community National Bank Chairman/CEO Randy Dobbs. "Thieves go dumpster diving to retrieve documents that are tossed without shredding.”
Individuals may bring up to 100 pounds of paper to feed into the Iron Mountain® Secure Shredding unit parked in front of the bank. The unit holds up to 15,000 pounds of paper. After Iron Mountain shreds the paper, it is baled and then 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. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported, "One in 6 Americans will be a victim of identity theft this year alone. In the last 12 months 9.93 million people have had some type of identity theft crime committed against them. Victims spend on average $1,200 in out-of-pocket expenses and an average of 175 hours in efforts to resolve the many problems caused by identity thieves. 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.

The National Association for Information Destruction recommends shredding:
• Pre-approved credit applications, credit card statements and expired charge cards
• Personal medical records and physician statements
• Tax preparation worksheets, obsolete financial records and receipts
• Insurance forms, telephone bills, cancelled checks and bank statements
• Mail, old records and mailing labels from magazines

Community National Bank, an independent bank in Bellaire, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The drive-through bank, 5235 Bellaire Boulevard at Ferris Street, is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon. The FDIC insures the deposits of Community National Bank, an equal opportunity lender. For further information, call (713) 664-4777 or go to the web, www.commnatlbank.com.