On Friday, Central Valley Community Bank, located at 1901 W. Kettleman Lane, Suite C, will be hosting a free shredding event from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to anyone with anything to shred.
This week, news intern Branden Wiens talked about identify theft and the value of shredding documents with Dan Doyle, president and CEO of Central Valley Community Bank.
Q: Why did you start holding the shredding event?
A: We started thinking that simply putting important documents in the garage after taxes were filed was a bad idea. We've heard stories from our customers of people going through tax documents and stealing their identity. We felt that this would be a great way to increase awareness of identity theft, and allow people to destroy their documents in a safe way.
Q: Do you shred the paper yourself, or do you hire a shredding company?
A: We hire professional shredders, and we do this for several reasons. The first is that the shredding companies can handle a greater volume than we can. The second is that we can build consumer confidence because they can watch their documents being destroyed, so they feel safe, knowing that the information cannot be reassembled by someone going through the trash.
Q: Is there a maximum amount that consumers can bring?
A: Yes. It is six banker boxes (typical cardboard designed to hold documents) per customer. We set this cap because in the first year, the truck was filled to capacity with only a few customers who brought dozens of boxes. The truck was filled while we still had customers waiting. Fistfights almost broke out, so we had to set a cap. It also allows us to take more customers as well.
Q: Has the event grown each year?
A: Yes. On average we have around 200 people per branch, and it grows about 10 to 15 percent each year.
Q: What sort of documents should be shredded?
A: Anything with a Social Security number, birth date, business ID number, anything with bank account numbers, anything that can be used to identify you with a unique number should be shredded. These things should not be kept any longer than needed. Anything with confidential information that does not need to be kept. Some documents should be saved for a certain amount of time, but after that time has passed, shred it.
Q: What about electronic identity theft?
A: We are seeing more and more electronic fraud. Be wary of emails and ads that you see. Some look real, like from a bank or the IRS, but they are in fact cleverly copied logos. Any bank would never send you an email asking you to verify your PIN number via email. As great as the Internet is, it has huge risks. We must know who it is, and who we are responding to.
Q: Do you attend any of the events yourself?
A: Yes, I attend some of the shredding events in the area, help customers take boxes out of their cars, and chat with our customers. Our mission is to add value to our communities. I enjoy community banking, because we're not so big that we don't get to know our customers.
Contact intern Brandon Wiens at firstname.lastname@example.org.