Law aims to shred identity theft

Law aims to shred identity theft

By Ron Mizutani

Shredding important documents is no longer just being responsible. Starting June 1, it will be mandatory for most businesses. A federal law will require that companies properly destroy consumer information.

They say we live in a paper less society but Kaleo Allado doesn’t buy it.

“I work 10-to-12 hours a day,” he said.

Allado bounces from business to business — collecting confidential documents. And then — he shreds them.

“Professional document destruction,” Allado said.

Shred-It, is one of two companies on Oahu that comes to your door to pulverize sensitive paperwork.

“We shred 30,000 pounds of documents some days,” said Bob Egbert, sales manager for the Shred-It.

And business is expected to boom as more companies comply with a federal law designed to combat identity theft. Besides giving consumers the right to a free credit report every year — the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act requires proper disposal of that information.

“It brings everyone together in a unified front to make things more difficult for criminals out there,” said Egbert.

Mortgage companies understand the risks.

“We probably have the most knowledge about a customer at the time they walk in,” said Gayle Ishima, chief operating officer from Hawaii HomeLoans.

From social security numbers to salaries, there’s a buffet of information on every personal document. It’s what every thief would love to have. In Hawaii HomeLoans case, more than 500 pounds of discarded documents every week.

“We protect it by using shredding,” said Ishima.

“They go in your trash — so it’s very important that you shred everything nowadays,” said Allado.

Failure to comply with the law could result in a fine or even a class-action lawsuit.

Businesses that sell small shredders are expected to see a spike in sales as well.

Paper Shredding Services