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DA warns against identity theft, provides way to prevent fraud

Media, PA -- As part of her commitment to combat identity theft, District Attorney Katayoun Copeland is providing a way for residents to safely and securely dispose of their electronics including computers, cell phones and hard drives as well as the shredding of personal documents for free. Residents will also have the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted, expired medications at the District Attorney’s Mobile Drug Drop Box. The event will take place on Saturday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot of the Clifton Heights Fire Company located at 20 W. Baltimore Pike in Clifton Heights. This event is rain or shine.
“Our office is committed to protecting the community from identity theft, which can undermine a person’s financial security and lead to a host of other crimes,” said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. “One of the most effective ways citizens can safeguard themselves against identity thieves is by properly destroying documents and electronic storage devices that contain personal and sensitive information.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 112,000 computers and approximately 350,000 mobile phones are disposed of each day, equating to more than 152 million phones thrown away in one year. When it comes to disposing of electronics, District Attorney Copeland advises residents to ensure proper disposal, as electronic devices can provide information to criminals who are seeking to steal someone’s identity. “Whether you are planning to sell your device or throw it away, the careless disposal of an old computer or phone could result in inadvertently handing over your identity to a criminal,” said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. “These days our cell phones and computers contain all of our personal details such as passwords, account numbers, addresses and phone numbers which a criminal could use to steal your identity, steal your life savings” she said.

Document shredding truck will be available to shred residents’ personal documents per person at no cost. All items will be recycled. Criminal Investigation Division (CID) detectives and members of the Office of the District Attorney will be available to assist with unloading boxes from vehicles and to provide free brochures and information on preventing identity theft.
Residents are encouraged to bring the following items for shredding: tax returns older than five years; statements from banks and financial institutions; cancelled checks; paycheck stubs; credit card applications; and unneeded medical records and billing statements.

In addition to providing the safe and secure disposal of documents containing personal information and electronics, the event will also be a medication disposal event. Residents are encouraged to drop off their expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications which are a potential source of supply for illegal use and present a risk to public health and safety. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. By disposing of unwanted medications, residents can help reduce the supply of prescription drugs available to those who might otherwise try to steal, abuse or sell these drugs. Residents can dispose of unwanted drugs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at any of the permanent medicine drop boxes located at police stations across Delaware County. Details and locations can be found by visiting the Heroin Task Force website at www.co.delaware.pa.us/heroin.

 

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
DELAWARE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MEDIA, PENNSYLVANIA 19063
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610-891-4161

KATAYOUN M. COPELAND, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
JOSEPH A. RYAN, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES

May 31, 2018