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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2007
LEGIT Sheds Light on Identity Theft with Statewide Shred-a-thon April 28

OLYMPIA -- Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT, today announced Washington’s first statewide shred-a-thon. Events at 29 locations statewide will help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
 
Financial institutions, retailers, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and commercial shredding companies have volunteered to host simultaneous shredding events for the public on Saturday, April 28. Shredding will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until trucks are full, whichever comes first. Consumers and small businesses are invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed at no charge. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, there is a limit of three grocery bags or two file boxes per customer.

Police, government officials, business leaders and other experts will be on hand to answer questions and share valuable information about preventing identity theft. Attorney General Rob McKenna will be among them.

Each year, more than 5,000 Washington residents become identity theft victims. LEGIT Chair Susan Storey, a King County deputy prosecutor, said the shred-a-thon aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting personal information.

“Identity thieves rifle through trash, recycling bins and mailboxes in search of checks, bank statements and bills,” Storey said. “They later use personal information provided on those documents to steal money from your accounts or open new credit cards. Both homeowners and businesses are at risk. We want consumers and businesses to develop habits for protecting personal information that become second nature, like locking your front door, wearing a seatbelt, and putting out a campfire.”

“Prevention is the strongest armor,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “The Attorney General’s Office and law enforcement want to build a statewide army of smart consumers and businesses. Events like LEGIT’s shred-a-thon aim to equip Washington residents with the knowledge needed to defend themselves. Together, we can shred identity theft to bits.”

LEGIT encourages consumers and businesses to think “SMART”:

Secure your identity and financial information.
Minimize risks.
Act responsibly.
Restrict access to only those who need the information.
Think before providing personal information to requesters.

More information about the shred-a-thon, including locations, partipating businesses and organizations, and a list of suggested items to destroy is available on the LEGIT Shred-a-thon Web site at www.atg.wa.gov/Shredathon.aspx.

BROADCAST PSA SCRIPT (30 SECONDS):

Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT, is organizing a statewide free shred-a-thon April 28 to promote identity theft prevention. Consumers and small businesses are invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed at any of 29 locations. Shredding will be available from 10 to 2 or until trucks are full, whichever comes first. For the location nearest you, visit the LEGIT Shred-a-thon page on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.atg.wa.gov/Shredathon.aspx.

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Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432

LEGIT
Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft
500 Fourth Avenue, Room 840  ▪  Seattle, WA  98104

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