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Kilmartin to Host Shred-a-Thons For Nat. Consumer Protection Week

Monday, February 24, 2014


(Photo: Sh4rp_1, Flickr)

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin will once again host a series of free “shred-a-thons” throughout Rhode Island to mark this year’s National Consumer Protection Week to help Rhode Islanders protect themselves from identity theft.

National Consumer Protection Week in 2014 runs March 3-8, and is a coordinated campaign to encourage consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and to make better-informed decisions. Attorney General Kilmartin will partner with Doc Shredding Corp. and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in asking the public to bring a non-perishable food item when they drop off their documents.

Consumer protection tips

In addition to the shredding events, Attorney General Kilmartin will also share tips and information daily through Twitter and his blog to help Rhode Island consumers protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, and avoid frauds and scams.

“The U.S. Department of Justice has estimated that approximately 16.6 million people nationwide experience identity theft each year,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “And, although data breaches at major retailers are a huge concern that my office continues to investigate, many cases of identity theft are committed in a much more low-tech way: by picking someone’s personal information out of the trash. Shredding documents that contain your personal information is one of the best ways to protect yourself against identity theft, which is why we have partnered with Doc Shredding Corp. to provide these free events. Rhode Islanders have really gotten the message that shredding documents containing personal information is an easy, effective way to protect your identity – in fact, each of our shred-a-thons has been more popular than the last, so we’ve increased the number of locations in order to accommodate all those wishing to take advantage of these events.”

Green shredding

The secure shredding service is provided by Doc Shredding Corp. The securely locked trucks will be at the shred-a-thon events. Consumers can load their documents on the truck and receive a “certificate of destruction” from Doc Shredding, which certifies that all documents collected will be handled and destroyed with the highest degree of security. Materials are transported back to Doc Shredding Corp.’s secure facility, shredded to a fine confetti and baled on a large plant-based shredder. This offers the same level of security and confidentiality as mobile shredding, but is a “greener” option than having a diesel truck running continuously. The shredded documents are then recycled, thereby keeping tons of material out of Rhode Island landfills.

“We are very excited to once again work with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office in helping Rhode Islanders safely dispose of confidential documents,” said Brian Johnson, President of Doc Shredding Corp. “Too often, people throw away documents that contain sensitive information, like bills and receipts. Shredding these documents is a very simple step consumers can take to protect their identity and personal information, and we are proud to participate in this important initiative. I was very pleased with the turnout in previous years, and that we were able to collect items for the Food Bank.”

Food bank donations requested

The Attorney General is asking participants to consider bringing a non-perishable food item for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to the shred-a-thons. Most-needed food items include peanut butter, canned soups, stews and vegetables, dried or canned beans, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, tuna fish and nutritious cereal. More than 68,000 people now rely on the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s statewide network of 178 agencies that provide food at 223 sites to help meet their basic food needs. Approximately one out of three persons served by the Food Bank is a child under the age of 18.

“The need for food assistance remains at an all-time high in Rhode Island, because so many adults are still struggling to find work that will pay the bills and feed their families,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “We appreciate every can of food and every dollar that is donated. We’ll put it to immediate good use, taking care of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The shred-a-thons are free and open to the public. All consumers are invited to drop off up to two “banker boxes” of materials for shredding.

Rhode Island Shred-a-Thon Locations and Dates

Kickoff Event

Monday, March 3

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Pilgrim Senior Center

27 Pilgrim Parkway, Warwick

Tuesday, March 4

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Westerly Senior Center

39 State Street, Westerly


12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Johnston Senior Center

1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston

Wednesday, March 5

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Cranston Senior Center

1070 Cranston Street, Cranston


12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Community College of Rhode Island – Flanagan Campus

1762 Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln

Thursday, March 6

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

North Kingstown Community Center (parking lot)

30 Beach Street, North Kingstown


12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Middletown Police Department

123 Valley Road, Middletown

Friday, March 7

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

East Providence City Hall

145 Taunton Avenue, East Providence

Saturday, March 8

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Pawtucket City Hall

137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket


Related Slideshow: 10 Big Companies with Recent Major Security Breaches

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March 2011

Tens of millions affected

In March 2011, Epsilon, the world's largest permission-based email marketing service, announced that the names and email addresses of customers of Citigroup, TiVo, and many other U.S. companies, were exposed in a huge data breach. The hack affected names and email addresses stored in over 108 retail stores, major financial firms and non-profit organizations like College Board. At the time of the incident, Epsilon had more than 2,500 clients sending 40 billion emails annually.

Result: Epsilon notified clients of the breach on April 1. Epsilon's clients then notified their customers of the hack. Epsilon has stated that 50 clients were affected, but the exact number of names and email addresses has not been released. Computerworld.com estimated that "tens of millions" of people were affected.

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April 2011

77 million customers affected

In the spring of 2011, Sony was hacked through its through its PlayStation Network twice. The first security breach exposed customers' personal information to hackers, but not their credit card information. The second hack, disclosed in late April, did result in customers' credit card information being stolen. The pair of hacks affected 77 million people.

Result: Two weeks after the breach, Sony released a PlayStation 3 firmware update as a security patch. The firmware required users to change their password.

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Global Payment Systems

March 2012

7 million customers affected

In the spring of 2012, the credit card processor service Global Payment Systems discovered that 1.5 million credit card records had been stolen from its system. Additionally, roughly 5.5 million consumer records were compromised, bringing the total to 7 million.

Result: As a result of the breach, Global Payments was delisted until it could prove it was in compliance with security standards. In April 2013, the payment card networks returned Global Payments its client list after it proved it was compliant with security standards.

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January 2012

24 million customers affected

In early 2012, the online retail store Zappos announced that it had been hacked, exposing the names, addresses, phone numbers, partial credit card numbers, and email addresses of 24 million customers.

Result: One day following the cyberattack, Zappos sent emails to all customers directing them to change their passwords.

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Adobe Systems

October 2013

152 million customers affected

In October, the computer software company Adobe disclosed that hackers obtained personal data for almost 38 million of its customers, including names, credit and debit card numbers, and expiration dates. In November, it was discovered that the hackers had posted the personal data of more than 150 million Adobe users.

Adobe Call Center: 1-800-833-6687

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].

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December 2013

110 million customers affected

In December, Target announced that 40 million customer accounts were hacked stealing encrypted PIN numbers, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates, and the embedded code on the magnetic strip on the back of cars. Additionally, 70 million customers' personal information was compromised.

Target Call Center: 1-800-440-0680  

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].

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Neiman Marcus

January 2014

1.1 million customers affected

In January, high-end retailer Neiman Marcus revealed more than 1.1 million customers were affected in hack. Between July 2013 and October 2013, customer payment cards could have been potentially visible to hackers. Additionally, 2,400 unique customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus stores were subsequently used fraudulently.

Neiman Marcus Call Center: 1-888-888-4757

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].

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January 2014

Up to 81 million U.S. users

Late last month, Yahoo disclosed that Yahoo's email customers may have had their passwords compromised through a third-party application. The web company recently identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts, and notified RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. Upon discovery, the Company took action, urging users to reset passwords on impacted accounts.

Yahoo Call Center: 1-800-318-0612

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].














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Michaels Stores

January 2014

Number of affected customers yet to be determined

In January, Michaels Stores announced that it is investigating a possible data security breach that may have led to customers' debit and credit card information being compromised. Michaels has more than 1,250 locations in the United States, including four in Rhode Island.

Michaels Stores Call Center: 1-800-642-4235

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].

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White Lodging - Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin

February 2014

Number of affected customers yet to be determined

This week, the hospitality company White Lodging Services announced that a data breach occurred at 14 of its properties including Marriott, Radisson, Renaissance, Sheraton, Westin and Holiday Inn franchises around the country. Compromised information may have included names printed on credit or debit cards, the actual numbers, the security codes and expiration dates.

White Lodging Call Center: 219-472-2900.

For more information, Rhode Islanders may contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Office of Attorney General at 401-274-4400 or by email at [email protected].


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