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Vancity branches to sponsor free shred-a-thon

Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft

April 13, 2016, Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – Vancity branches throughout the Lower Mainland will be offering community shred-a-thons to help prevent people from becoming victims of identity theft and lighten our footprint on the environment.

You don’t have to be a Vancity member to participate in the annual spring cleaning community shred-a-thon. The service is by donation and proceeds will benefit various local community organizations.

Shredding is a great way to free storage space in your home or office by getting rid of paper you no longer need. It's also a safe way to dispose of documents and ensure they don’t get into the wrong hands. That’s why Vancity is working with Urban Impact, a bonded recycling company, to provide the free shredding service.

Another benefit of shredding? Every ton of paper that gets recycled saves 17 trees.

And don’t overlook the safety benefit: shredding can help prevent identity theft. Fraudsters open bank accounts and even get credit cards and loans to make purchases when they have access to your personal information.

This type of crime affects thousands of British Columbians each year. Thieves on a mission to steal your personal information will sift through trash or break into homes or mailboxes to get what they need. They'll be looking for bank or credit card statements, tax information and other private documents they can use to take on your identify and commit fraud or other crimes.

When given the opportunity to shred, many people wonder what to get rid of. Consider disposing of financial information, legal documents, credit card receipts, medical records, contracts, office files, archive files and papers that you have electronic copies of. Remember retention rules before destroying any business records. For example, the Canada Revenue Agency stipulates keeping business records for six years.

Here are five additional tips for protecting your identity:

  1. Beware of phone calls or emails asking for your personal financial information.
  2. Guard your social insurance number – be selective who you share it with because it’s the key that unlocks your identify.
  3. Protect yourself online from Internet scams and malware – install anti-virus, anti-spyware reputable software.
  4. Check your credit card and bank statements each month to ensure all the charges are legitimate. (Identity thieves will often start with relatively small purchases to see if you’re paying attention.)
  5. Sign up for online banking alerts to know if your account has been accessed or changed.


“When you become a victim of identify theft it impacts your life in a variety of ways. The shred-a-thons we host at our branches are to help people dispose of sensitive documents and protect their identity and reduce their environmental footprint.” Geordie Cree, Vancity’s director of enterprise compliance and security

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 519,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $19.8 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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