HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Sheriff's Office says they have dealt with 36 different cases of identity theft in the past six months. On Friday, the Horry County Sheriff's Office held the Horry County Shred event to work on minimizing this problem.
Boxes and boxes of old credit card receipts, bills, and paper statements were dropped off by people looking to safely disposed of papers that if put in the wrong hands could put their personal identities at risk.
"I don't want people taking what I've earned," said Nancy Johnston who dropped off boxes of old papers. "We dropped off about ten years of tax returns."
Thieves can get pretty crafty when it comes to taking identities, and the HCSO says that cutting up or tearing your statements is not enough anymore.
Research shows that people who use paper statements are 85 percent more likely to have their identity stolen than people who are paperless.
Last year, the Horry County Shred event collected over 11,000 pounds of paper. This year, organizers said they expect to collect more than 12,000 pounds of paper.
"I think it's growing because word is getting out plus I think it's education after the security breach we had here," said Doris Gleason with AARP. "I also think people are starting to clean out more old records because we are seeing stuff today from 1970."