Members from Valley First organized sensitive documents in a bin before placing them in the “shred truck.”

Members from Valley First organized sensitive documents in a bin before placing them in the “shred truck.”

Thousands of documents shredded in Penticton in fight against identity theft

Donations for local food banks were accepted at the event outside the SOEC

A Penticton-based credit union took a stand against one of the most common types of financial fraud on Saturday, May 14, and invited the community to come out and join the fight.

Thousands of sensitive documents were properly shredded outside of the South Okanagan Events Centre starting at 10:30 a.m., in the fight against identity theft, courtesy of Valley First and its annual “Shred it and Forget it” event.

“It’s about bringing awareness to fraud prevention,” said Lara Kinvig, the assistant manager at Valley First’s Cherry Lane branch.”Unfortunately, they are people who have bad intentions that will go through garbage, find personal information and perhaps apply for a credit card in your name.”

Saturday wasn’t just a day to educate people on how to protect themselves from financial fraud, though — it was an opportunity to raise money for local food banks.

Community members were invited to bring non-perishable food items or cash, along with their personal documents in support of local chairites.

Kinvig said that over $2,000 was raised for local food banks at last year’s “Shred it and Forget it” event.

“It’s really important that we not only raise money for the communities that we serve but also end the stigma around using food banks,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable using food banks as they need to. We’re all in this together.”

Event organizers are hopeful at least the same amount of money will be raised at this year’s event, once the cash is counted.

The truck of shredded documents was filling quickly by the time 12 p.m. came around, with several community members getting in on the fight against fraud.

“We filled the truck last year,” Kinvig said. “It’s important that all of these documents are being shredded securely.”

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