Safety tips to protect against identity theft - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Safety tips to protect against identity theft

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- According to financial services consulting firm Javelin Strategies and Research, identity theft affects 11 million people a year, at a cost of $54 billion says identity theft affects 11-million people a year, at a cost of 54-billion dollars.

Kennewick Crime Prevention Specialist, Mike Blatman says shredding sensitive documents is a good way to prevent problems.

The list includes old tax returns, bank statements, credit card offers, old photo ID cards, pay stubs, credit card convienence checks, old credit cards. Blatman says it's important to not carry your social security card in your wallet.

There are things you can do to stay proactive. "You are allowed to do the free credit reports a couple of times a year, I believe, and its important to make sure you do that. Make sure that people are not attempting to get credit on your behalf without your knowledge. You can also go in and freeze your credit," says Blatman.

Freezing your credit makes those who run your credit contact you first for permission. The shredding services will run Saturday between10-2pm at the Kennewick and Walla Walla police stations.