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March 4, 2013

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


Consumer Awareness And Protection Expo/Shred Event

Free Event for the Public

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Saturday, Mar. 23, 2013, a Consumer Awareness and Protection Expo/Shred Event will be held at the Knoxville Expo Center, 5441 Clinton Highway, Knoxville, Tenn. This event is part of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), which is a worldwide campaign, led by the Federal Trade Commission to encourage consumers across the country to take full advantage of their consumer rights. In support of NCPW, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, along with other community partners are hosting this free event.

NCPW is a collaborative effort between more than 20 state and federal government agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service, and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as non-government groups such as the Better Business Bureau.

The event will provide the general public with information on how they can protect themselves from becoming a victim of various types of fraud, including preventing identity theft. Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. It is important for consumers to recognize that identity theft is not just a financial crime. This crime varies widely, and can include financial identity theft (checking and/or credit card fraud), criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft, and medical identity theft.

Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain. It can start with lost or stolen wallets, stolen mail, a data breach, computer virus, “phishing” scams, or paper documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving).

Since shredding documents containing these key pieces of personal information rather than throwing them in the trash is one way to prevent identity theft, participants can bring unwanted documents to the event to be shredded free of charge.

Agencies participating in the event include the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and others.

For additional information regarding this event, please contact Postal Inspector Wendy Boles at 865-692-0795.

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