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Document shredding service helps prevent ID theft - September 26, 2006

(This story originally appeared in the Hesperia Star Tuesday, September 26, 2006)

Fred Smith tells the story of one area attorney whose collection of former client files became so voluminous that he was forced to lock them up in two railroad car-sized storage containers.

Although the attorney’s “dead files” dilemma was bigger than most, his problem was essentially identical to nearly every business owner or consumer who doesn’t know what to do with old documents: Throwing away sensitive paperwork opens the door to identify theft, a growing problem throughout the United States.

“Seven-hundred thousand people are affected by identity theft,” said Smith, who along with partner Bill Nalls recently opened All Purpose Document Destruction in an industrial complex near Main Street and Highway 395 in Hesperia. “It’s affecting almost all demographics you can think of. Identity thieves are stealing right out the trash can.”

And dealing with an individual identity theft event can cost anywhere between $3,000 to $100,000, according to Smith.

“It really does ruin people’s lives.”

The new company, known as APDD, provides a mobile, state-of-the-art document destruction service in Hesperia, the Victor Valley and beyond. APDD has provided services as far as El Segundo, Idyllwild and North Hollywood. The company recently became a member of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce and Victor Valley Association of Realtors.

Those with the biggest document shredding needs are often businesses required by law to keep client files for years, sometimes as many as seven. Recently a new law designed to reduce the risk of consumer fraud and identity theft called the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) targets lenders, insurers, employers, landlords, government agencies, mortgage brokers and auto dealers. However, the FACTA rule mandate could be interpreted to include almost everyone and every business in the U.S., according to the National Association for Information Destruction.

Although Smith and Nalls are more than willing to quote a price for an average consumer with two or three boxes worth of documents for shredding, they encourage people to go in with a few friends. That way a mobile shredding visit is more cost effective.

“It might cost just $5 or so per person,” Smith said.

Regular customers receive a secure, locking bin from APDD. The company then sends a bonded crew of uniformed operators in a specially-equipped vehicle. The material is destroyed at a rate of 3,000 to 4,000 pounds per hour and compressed into a storage compartment. Using an auger, the 5/8ths per inch, cross-shredded material is compacted and mixed. The crew transports the shredded material to dump sites capable of handling and recycling it.

“It’s a service that’s truly needed,” Smith said, adding that unfortunately ID theft “is definitely not something that’s going to go away.”

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Company: All Purpose Document Destruction

Owners: Fred Smith and Bill Nalls

Location: 12221 Poplar Street, Ste. 11

Telephone: (760) 662-5466


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