SMITHFIELD – Craig Olive, Johnston County Register of Deeds, and several volunteers spent their Saturday recently assisting the citizens of Johnston County at his annual Shred Event. Citizens from across the county brought boxes and bags filled with sensitive and personal information to be shredded, protecting these citizens from the potential threat of identity fraud. This annual event is a
highlight for Mr. Olive and in sponsored in conjunction with the Town of Smithfield.
“Special thanks goes out to CIVIC formally, LFGCU for sponsoring this important event. They have been a great sponsor for several years. We could not do it without their sponsorship,” Mr. Olive said.
“I would like to publicly thank some local Boy Scouts for their hard work at our Shred Event. These young men gave up their Saturday to serve their community. They worked hard without complaining; they displayed great work ethics and wanted to make sure they did a great job. They were an asset to me and I am thankful for their assistance,” stated Olive.
The Boy Scouts are part of Troop 124. Troop Leaders Paul Papineau and Anthony Westmoreland and scout members Felipe Aquilo, Andrew Billiar, Leonard Culkin, Parker Hansley, PJ Papineau and Dakota Westmoreland were present and served our community at this event.
A long-time strong supporter of efforts to prevent identity fraud, Mr. Olive believes that his annual Shred Events are a great benefit to the citizens of Johnston County.
“I will continue my efforts to prevent identity fraud as long as I am in public service. These annual shred events provide our citizens a free way to dispose of personal and sensitive information. The shredding of sensitive and personal documents is a proactive way to protect your identity and I am proud to sponsor these events.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the following are clues that someone has stolen your information:
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
If you notice any of the above clues, investigate through your financial institution and contact the three national credit bureaus to report any fraudulent activity.
In addition, the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and a number of private partners. The network received 3.2 million reports in 2019, including nearly 1.7 million fraud reports as well as identity theft and other reports.
Consumers reported losing more than $1.9 billion to fraud in 2019, with nearly $667 million lost to imposter scams alone. This information is provided by the Federal Trade Commission’s website at ftc.gov.
Since 2009, the Shred Event has been an annual event for the Register of Deeds office and Mr. Olive has no plans to discontinue this effort. “It is always a great success and I will continue to offer this free community event for as long as I am in office because I know that it is beneficial to our citizens,” Mr. Olive said.