Shredder Sales Soar - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/35/04

Shredder Sales Soar

When Ginny Laubhan goes through her mail, her shredder is always close by.

"I use it for anything that has my personal information on it. Bank statements, credit card applications, anything I think someone could get a hold of to get more info about me, " she explains.

She got her shredder three years ago because she was afraid of identity theft.

"I wanted to make sure that no one could get a hold of my personal information and take advantage of me, because credit is hard to get and once you have it, you don't want someone ruining it," Ginny explains.

Millions of people are following Ginny's lead and are buying personal shredders for their home.

Shredders are so popular, that in 2003, sales jumped 50 percent at Staples Office supply store and 30 percent at Office Max. The stores attribute the high sales to the growing number of identity theft crimes in the country. In the last 5 years, 27.3 million people have had their identity stolen. Ten million of those became victims just last year.

It's those statistics that convinced Ginny to use her shredder on everything, from mail to receipts, Because she doesn't want to be a victim. She says a shredder can protect her like nothing else can.

"Definitely makes me feel safe. Much better than tearing it up by hand," she explains.

Shredders are relatively inexpensive. You can find them for as little as 30 dollars at some stores. Which isn't much when you consider identify theft cost Americans more than 5 billion dollars last year.

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