Document shredding services available for seniors

Published 12:04 am Sunday, February 5, 2023

SALISBURY — Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc. has collaborated with the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center to provide shredding services for senior citizens over 55 years old.

“Partnering with RVO and Rowan County YMCAs has proven to be a major asset to the senior population we serve,” Allison Paul, program director at Rufty-Holmes, said in a news release. “As we provide numerous services to our senior citizens, it allows them to benefit and enjoy social, physical, and intellectual interests that they otherwise may not have the resources for.”

“Working with Ted Oglesby, shredding supervisor at RVO, helps give seniors ‘peace of mind’ knowing that their confidential and personal information is being protected from the theft of important documents and information that is being frequently discarded,” said Paul.

As a method of providing convenience for seniors, Rowan County area YMCAs have agreed to host pickups and drop-offs on specific days. “As fraud, identity theft and scams are running rampant, it is of the utmost importance to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities,” Oglesby remarked. “Many seniors lack access to adequate transportation and this service is the most practical and cost effective,” said Oglesby. Seniors are asked to leave a donation when they bring items to be shredded.

Participants are encouraged to bring personal paper documents that include details such as their name, address, bank account numbers and social security numbers. This is the type of information that is ripe for identity theft when tossed in the trash.

According to a recent Federal Trade Commission report “seniors are more frequently being singled out and targeted by criminals.” Older populations are more trusting than younger generations. This simply means that older populations may not be as mindful of destroying personal information as the younger generations.

Often times, with only a few pieces of information or even online profiles, criminals can commit crimes. Using limited personal information, criminals are able to pretend to be someone else, steal identities and commit fraud. Ripping up paperwork or removing labels from prescription bottles isn’t enough. Criminals and scammers have become more sophisticated in their methods of obtaining information.

According to Oglesby, “We are able to also leave securely locked containers at area businesses which can be picked up on a regular rotation and items will be protected and shredded confidentially.” Oglesby continued “Our services are compliant with all state and federal laws; including HIPPA.”

It is very important to be aware of communications with credit bureaus, law enforcement agencies and medical and social service agencies to ensure they won’t be liable for debts falsely created in their names. Some documents that people may not consider shredding are not limited to but include, tax returns, bank statements, canceled or voided checks, pay stubs, birth certificates and credit card information.

RVO maintains a shredding operation at its site located at 2728 Old Concord Road in Salisbury. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Shredding rates are 25 cents per pound for seniors over 55 and 50 cents per pound for all others. Upcoming shredding pickup events are scheduled on March 7 at the South Rowan YMCA and April 18 at the East Rowan YMCA.

For additional information or to secure a locked container for your business or work site, contact Ted Oglesby at 704-633-6223.