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Baah Humbug! Don't Become The Gift That Keeps On Giving To Identity Thieves This Holiday Season- Swingline Tips For Celebrating Safely

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Swingline ®, a worldwide leader in workspace tools, is reminding consumers that while an expanding Holiday waistline may be cause for concern – a bigger, much more serious threat is looming this Holiday season  - an increased chance for identity theft which can result in serious damage and strain to your "financial" health.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120105/CG30267LOGO)

Swingline recently conducted a Holiday themed online poll to its database and not surprisingly, excessive eating, drinking, charging up credit cards and a carefree spirit dominate the cheerful attitude of the season. Results of the Swingline Holiday poll showed that 62% of respondents are in fact more worried about packing on a few pounds during the festivities of the season than they are with the chance of identity theft and another 72% will be using their credit cards more than usual during the months of November and December for purchasing Holiday gifts.

The majority of respondents were wisely aware that something as easy as the proper shredding of receipts, credit card offers and bank statements can greatly reduce the chance of identity theft – with 57% reporting that they do in fact plan to use a shredder and a sharp-eyed 82% paying closer attention to their credit card statements for suspicious charges. For those 43% of respondents who unfortunately do not plan to use a shredder and the 17% who are sadly not paying closer attention to credit card statements for suspicious charges, Swingline offers the following simple, precautionary steps to enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle; minus the hassle of battling would-be identity thieves.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – for Identity Thieves! Smart Swingline Tips to Stay Safe this Holiday Season According to a 2009 Identity Fraud Survey by Javelin Research, 43% of identity theft cases stem from the loss or theft of a physical document. Cybercrime only accounts for 11% of actual identity fraud cases and online shopping accounts for a meager 1%![1]

Swingline is reminding holiday consumers documents that include a social security number, driver's license number, ATM numbers or credit card numbers should never be tossed into the trash or recycling bin where they can become easily accessible for criminals intent on identity theft; instead, anything that you no longer have a use for should be shredded. Period.
  1. Examine all correspondence you receive in mail. Don't just throw away "junk" mail without first reviewing it, particularly during the Holiday season when you are more likely to receive credit card offers and related promotions. If you receive mail from a company that you do not do business with, consider contacting the sender and ask why you are receiving and ask to be removed from the mailing list.
  2. Monitor bank, credit card and loan statements. You are likely to use your credit card more often for gift purchases so if you are expecting a bill that doesn't come, contact your account holder. If you see any suspicious charges also contact your creditor immediately.
  3. Safeguard important numbers, passwords and PIN's. Never carry them in your wallet or leave them lying around your home or work area where someone can easily see them and write them down. If you must keep a list of important account numbers, file them in a secure, private place that is not easily accessed.
  4. Shred, shred and then shred a bit more. A paper shredder is more than an expense; it's a "security" investment and provides peace of mind. Consider a Swingline Stack-and-Shred paper shredder specifically designed for home or personal use such as the hands-free Stack-and-Shred 60X or Stack-and-Shred 80X. Key features of the shredders include:  Hands Free Auto+™ technology - the rollers automatically feed the paper into the cutters, so you don't have to - leaving you time for better things. The small compact size fits neatly under a desk, offers quiet operation, secure, cross-cut, level 3 shredding including credit cards, which all amounts to an efficient and affordable way to safely dispose of Holiday related documents and receipts.

Swingline Stack-and-Shred paper shredders also make a fantastic gift idea for anyone on your Holiday shopping list. Whether it's for your sibling, business partner, office co-worker or Mom working from a home office, everyone can use a shredder! And sometimes shredding is just plain fun!  No need to worry about what size to buy, what color to pick, or if the shredder will be used – a Stack-and-Shred is ready to work right out of the box -- no complicated set up. With a variety of Swingline shredders that fit any budget and shredding needs, it's the gift that gives back.

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