BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
OF WESTERN MICHIGAN, INC
News Release #20120411
Issued: April 11, 2012
Contact: Phil Catlett, President
616.774.8236 - 800.684.3222
The Better Business Bureau is urging you to participate in Secure Your ID Shred Day events April 20 and 21 throughout Western Michigan. In Grand Rapids, documents can be dropped off at Calvary Church on the East Beltline between 9 a.m. and noon on Friday, April 20. Other locations throughout West Michigan will be hosting free shredding on Saturday, April 21. Reduce identity theft by shredding outdated or unnecessary personal and financial documents. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these are the most prevalent types of identity theft fraud in Michigan:
1 Government Documents or Benefits Fraud 32%
2 Phone or Utilities Fraud 15%
3 Credit Card Fraud 13%
4 Bank Fraud 7%
5 Employment-Related Fraud 5%
6 Loan Fraud 4%
The BBB recommends this document retention schedule:
» Insurance documentation: Keep everything as long as you have the policy. Also save any paperwork regarding unresolved claims/coverage.
» Keep utility, cell phone and similar bills only until you receive confirmation that your payment has been processed. The only exception to this is if you are self-employed. Self-employed people should keep these records longer so they can prove any deductions on their tax forms.
» Loan documentation: Keep all paperwork until you pay off the loan. Then, you can shred everything except the document that proves you paid in full.
» Monthly bank statements: Find out how much time your bank and/or credit cards give you to challenge incorrect statements. Keep them until you are no longer able to challenge them. This is typically between 60 days to one year after the mistake is made.
» Paycheck stubs: Don't throw away your paycheck stubs until you receive your annual W-2 form from your employer. If everything matches, feel free to shred your pay stubs. If there are any discrepancies, request a W-2c (a corrected form). Then, keep your W-2 or W-2c forms for at least a few years. You may want to keep them until you start receiving Social Security benefits, just in case there is an issue regarding your income in a particular year.
» Bill of lading: A document between the shipper and the carrier of a particular item that details the type, quantity and destination of the item. This document governs all legal aspects of the transfer.
» Tax returns, canceled checks/receipts, records for tax deductions taken. The IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks that you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more.
» All paperwork related to bankruptcy, inheritance and wills.
» Auditor's reports.
» House/Condominium records: It is a good idea to keep documents of expenditures related to house/condominium improvements. Capital purchases that improve or enhance the value of your home when you sell your property may lower your capital gains tax.
» IRA contribution records: If you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA plan, such as a Roth IRA, keep your records to show that you were already taxed for this money.
LINK TO BBB SHRED DAY
LOCATIONS AND TIMES