UPPER WEST SIDE — To combat an increase in identity theft, the commanding officer of the 20th Precinct is planning to bring a large paper-shredding truck to the Upper West Side station house next month for mass shredding event that will be open to the public.
Capt. Michael Falcon has tentatively scheduled the event for July 16 but still needs to confirm it with the NYPD and precinct community council.
The precinct has see 41 more total crimes this year compared to the same time period last year — 33 of which have been linked to identity theft, he said.
"The number one problem [in the precinct] is identity theft," and the different ways it happens "runs the gamut," Falcon explained.
Cell phones and email boxes have been hacked, ATM and debit card scams occur, and thieves are stealing personal information from improperly discarded mail, he said.
In addition to keeping a close eye on personal information, Falcon advised that people check to make sure a skimmer hasn't been attached to an ATM reader and that no one is watching or filming them input PIN number.
The shredder is one way to prevent sensitive documents from getting into the wrong hands and to raise awareness of the issue, he said.
"Every little bit helps," Falcon said. "We’re trying anything with the identity theft problem."