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Abbotsford police hold tech-shredding event to raise fraud awareness

Click to play video: 'Proper electronic disposal key in fight against fraud' Proper electronic disposal key in fight against fraud
WATCH: The Abbotsford Police teamed up with Electronic Recycling Association for an annual drop off day. It's part of Fraud Prevention month, which encourages residents to be careful about old electronics that could contain valuable personal information. – Mar 10, 2021

Old computers, hard drives and mobile devices found their final resting place in Abbotsford Wednesday, where police staged a safe disposal event to mark Fraud Prevention Month.

Residents had the choice to feed their devices — and the potentially sensitive information they may have carried — into a shredder, or to have them securely wiped for reuse at police headquarters.

“You have an old computer that doesn’t work anymore and you want to get rid of it, or you want to ensure that information is deleted or this device will be for sure destroyed, you can bring it here and watch it happen,” Abbotsford police Sgt. Judy Bird said.

Read more: ‘It doesn’t belong in our landfills’: What to do with your old electronics

The Abbotsford initiative, a partnership with the Electronic Recycling Association, was a one-day free event, but similar services are offered throughout the Lower Mainland.

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The Better Business Bureau says it’s important for British Columbians to take advantage of such services, to ensure fraudsters don’t gain access to personal data that could linger on an unused device — even if giving the device to a friend or family member.

Danielle Cheng, vice-president of Wirefire Sales and Marketing, likened disposing of a device to throwing out sensitive personal documents.

Read more: B.C. student refurbishing, donating computers to kids for online learning

“I would never in my wildest dreams just throw away a bank statement from the mail. I want to make sure the data on there is shredded into a million pieces so that people can’t access my personal information.”

You can find out more about secure electronic media destruction through the province, or at the Electronic Recycling Association’s website.

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