JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 2018 report by the Federal Trade Commission showed that Jacksonville ranked No. 13 in the nation’s 50 largest metro areas for per capita fraud and other consumer complaints in 2017.
Jacksonville ranked No. 19 per capita for identity theft reports in 2017, the report showed.
Shredding documents with personal information is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud, according to financial experts.
That's why Jax Federal Credit Union is hosting a free community shred event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the credit union's headquarters at 562 Park St., Jacksonville, FL 32204.
All documents must be free of paper clips, staples, etc.
The event, which is open to everyone, not just the credit union's members, will provide local families with a safe way to dispose of documents with personal information.
A spokeswoman for Jax Federal Credit Union said anyone in northeast Florida can participate.
Tax-related documents are full of the information that identity thieves and criminals love, like your full name, mailing address, account information, and sometimes even your social security number, the credit union said.
Jax Federal Credit Union experts offer the following advice for how long to keep documents:
- Bills: At least 1 year, however bills for large purchases should be retained for insurance purchases
- Medical Bills: At least 3 years
- Utility Records: At least 3 years
- Contracts and Agreements: At least 6 years
- Medical Bills (if tax related): At least 7 years
- Records for Tax Deductions: At least 7 years (e.g., charitable donations)
- Real Estate Records of Improvement: Retain for length of home ownership
- Deeds, Mortgages, and Bills of Sales: Permanent
- Legal Correspondence: Permanent
- Income Tax Payment Checks: Permanent
- Income Tax Returns and Worksheets: Depends on complexity of the return; after 3 years, the IRS considers a return closed.
The credit union also encourages you to go paperless, check your credit report regularly and freeze your credit.
For more information, go to jaxfcu.org.