One of More than 150 Events Nationwide in AARP’s Annual “Operation: Stop Scams”
As a part of its annual “Operation Stop Scams”, to help fight against identity theft, and in conjunction with Los Angeles City Council District 8th and 9th, and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, AARP in Los Angeles has organized a free community shredding event. The public is invited to bring any old documents to be shredded safely and securely — especially documents containing sensitive and personal information. This event will take place on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Sear Auto Center parking lot at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, located at 3755 Santa Rosalia Dr., Los Angeles. Shredding services will begin at 10:15 a.m. and will continue until 2 p.m. or until the onsite shredding truck reaches full capacity
This event is one of more than 150 free document-shredding events and fraud-fighting programs being held as part of AARP’s second annual “Operation: Stop Scams,” a five-week-long series of more than 150 events in communities coast-to-coast.
Anti-fraud activities sponsored by AARP’s local offices in more than 35 states include: paper-shredding events, fraud education programs – popularly referred to as “scam jams,” AARP Fraud Watch Network background presentations, tele-town halls and phone bank call-out sessions to warn consumers about the latest scams. Consumers can visit www.aarp.org/OperationStopScams to find the event closest to their community.
California residents reported 55,418 cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission during 2017, yet a new AARP survey finds that almost half of consumers ignore experts’ recommendations to regularly shred their sensitive financial records.
“With the end of the tax-filing season, we’re reminding our members and others that it’s a great time to clear out and discard their obsolete financial documents. Our shredding event provides a convenient and safe way for people to destroy this sensitive paperwork,” said Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director.
More than 1 million pounds of sensitive documents were destroyed during “Operation Stop Scams” in 2017.
In a recent AARP poll on tax fraud and identity theft, 80 percent of respondents agreed that shredding paperwork containing Social Security numbers, birth dates, and financial account information is “very” or “extremely” important. Yet 34 percent admitted that they shred just “rarely” or “sometimes.” Twelve percent said they have never shredded such documents.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. The FWN website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, an interactive scam-tracking map, fun educational quizzes, and video presentations featuring Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale. Users may sign up for “Watchdog Alert” emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling.
Abagnale, the renowned fraud expert whose personal story was depicted in the hit movie “Catch Me If You Can,” is also host of a new AARP weekly podcast series, “The Perfect Scam,” that launched this month.