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Florence Savings Bank Offers Community Shred Day

FLORENCE — Florence Savings Bank, a mutually owned savings bank serving the Pioneer Valley through nine branch locations, is offering area residents free document-shredding services at its Community Shred Day, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at the bank’s Granby office at 68 Pleasant St.

Florence Savings Bank was one of the first organizations in the Pioneer Valley to provide this free service. For the last eight years, the bank has hosted two Shred Day events annually. Area residents are invited to bring up to five shoeboxes of personal paperwork they would like shredded. There is no cost for this service, nor do participants need to be customers of the bank to participate. All shredding is done on site, in view of the customer.

Attendees will also receive helpful information about other ways to protect themselves from identity theft and fraud. Additionally, those in attendance at the event will have the opportunity to participate in a drawing for a free, in-home shredder. Two of these shredders will be raffled off at this event.

The program is part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to increase awareness of the potential dangers of fraud and identity theft. Identity theft can occur when sensitive information is not properly destroyed and falls into the wrong hands. Security experts recommend that documents no longer needed, such as credit-card offerings or statements, medical bills, payroll statements, and any documents that contain names, account numbers, or Social Security numbers, should be shredded rather than simply discarded into the trash.

“Because identity theft can occur whether you write a check by hand, bank online, or use debit, credit, or ATM cards, there are some basic precautions that everyone should take,” said Michele Bennett, Florence Savings Bank’s security manager. “For example, never release sensitive data to callers or e-mails, unless you initiated the contact. Shred all card transaction receipts, as well as sensitive documents, if you no longer need them for your records. Review your credit reports periodically, monitor your activity closely, replace paper statements with electronic statements, and carry only what you need in your wallet/purse. And it’s important to select personal identification numbers (PINs) that will be difficult for others to guess or decode, and never write your PINs where they can be easily accessed (i.e., such as on the backs of the cards or in your wallet.”

In addition to the Shred Day events, the bank’s website, www.florencesavings.com, is a resource for valuable information about how to protect against ID theft and fraud. Additional information can be found on the bank’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/florencesavingsbank), and in its newsletter.

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