Last year there were over 300,000 cases of identity theft in North Carolina alone. State Attorney General Roy Cooper says "This is costing businesses billions of dollars, but it's also costing everyday people their good name and their reputation and also a lot of out of pocket expenses." On Saturday, Wilmington residents fought back against identity thieves. More than 200 people watched as their old bank statements, bills and personal documents were shredded outside SunTrust Bank on Oleander Drive. Donna Cameron of SunTrust Bank says "My fear is people just throw that into their trash can at home. That type of information often times has confidential info, and it needs to be properly discarded, preferably shredded." While some brought just one basket full of papers, others had a whole trunkload. If you are a victim of your identity theft, erasing this debt can be a major hassle. Experts say it's better to avoid the problem in the first place. Cooper says, "Make sure you take these steps to protect yourself and ensure that you're not the next victim of identity theft." Cameron adds, "The way that we have lived in the past, we must change those patterns of behavior." Over 10,000 pounds of old personal documents were destroyed Saturday, making it that much more difficult for thieves to ruin a person's credit, and good name. WWAY-TV hopes to sponsor more shredding events in the future.
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