The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Identity Crimes Unit will host an Identity Theft Awareness Day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Jan. 26 to provide citizens methods to protect their identity and to offer a safe location to shred and dispose of personal and private documents. The event will be held at the agency’s district headquarters located at 7601 Kingston Pike in Knoxville.
THP formed an Identity Crimes Unit in the fall of 2012. This will mark the first Identity Theft Awareness Day held by the specialized unit. They, along with representatives from the United States Postal Service and Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), will be on hand to answer questions and distribute material on identity theft.
A shredding truck will also be on site to destroy private documents, including bills or other records containing personal information. There will be a two-box maximum for individuals and a five box maximum for businesses. No cardboard or non-paper items will be accepted.
According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, a data base used by law enforcement to collect consumer complaints, in 2011 there were 4,275 complaints of identity theft filed in Tennessee, compared to 4,175 filed in 2010. Nationwide, in 2011 there were 279,156 complaints of identity theft filed, compared to 258,854 filed in 2010.
“This is a great opportunity for the citizens in Knoxville to dispose of any documents containing their personal information. No one is immune to identity theft. We appreciate the support of our law enforcement and financial institution partners in this effort to deter identity theft,” THP Captain Stacy Williams said.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention. www.TN.Gov/safety