AARP Helps Roanoke Residents Shred Financial Documents Totaling 1.5 Tons

Posted on 05/23/24 by Evan Jones

Credit: Evan Jones

AARP Virginia teamed up with Roanoke City Sheriff Antonio Hash to help local residents shred more than 1.5 tons of financial records and other personal documents, which fraud perpetrators could use to scam people out of their money.

The shred event was part of the first-ever Safe Community Expo, held on May 18 at the Berglund Center Exhibition Hall in Roanoke. The event raised funds for Project Lifesaver, which helps families quickly locate loved ones with cognitive impairments who wander. Project Lifesaver donates devices that include a small radio transmitter to help people find loved ones should they walk or run away.

Credit: Evan Jones

Outside the building, AARP Virginia arranged for the shredding with considerable physical assistance from sheriff’s deputies, who greeted arriving vehicles. One by one, all those boxes and bags of documents added up, with the shredding company reporting having processed 3,500 pounds of paperwork that might otherwise have fallen into the wrong hands and led to fraud.

In its fraud presentations, AARP continually stresses the need to destroy documents containing personal financial information. Sheriff Hash agrees. “We talk about public safety and protecting your family,” Hash says. “A lot of family members have documentation sitting around: old checks, old bills, stuff with Social Security numbers. What we like because of AARP and their partnership with this shred event [is] being able to come out here and to get rid of your stuff in the correct manner and then see it shredded in front of you, so you know it is disposed of right then and there.” The sheriff views shredding events as a valuable public safety tool. “It’s a great thing to give back to the community,” he says. “This is a way to keep our community safe.”

AARP’s participation in this event was part of an ongoing collaboration with the Roanoke City and Roanoke County sheriffs’ offices, which sponsor monthly events to inform the public about scams and fraud. When they plan special events, AARP is one of the primary groups they call on to help.

This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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