Shredding documents can protect you from identity theft

Shredding documents can protect you from identity theft

By LOIS KINDLE

lois@observernews.net

LOIS KINDLE PHOTO
Some of the staff at Legal Shred and Red Bags gather for a group photo outside the office at 1806 U.S. 41 S, Gibsonton. From left are Therese Managhan, Kim Illum, Scott Kenny, Peggy Beddingfield and Jason Fredricks, who co-owns both companies with his brother Sean.

With the ever-increasing incidence of identity theft these days, it’s more important than ever for businesses and individuals to protect sensitive information. So it’s a valuable investment for both to ensure old documents are securely destroyed.

“It’s a cost-effective way to protect personal and company information with confidentiality,” said Sean Fredricks, who co-owns Legal Shred with his older brother Jason. “We carry a $1 million policy to ensure that, and we give proof on your receipt that you are practicing due diligence.”

The Fredricks brothers are originally from New York, where Jason was a restauranteur and Sean owned a company called Code Shred. In 2010, he sold the business to Cintas and worked as a consultant for that company for about a year.

Family and nicer weather brought them to South Shore, where their parents and youngest brother, Aaron, owner of East Coast Pizza, live.

They founded Legal Shred in 2012 with a single 24-foot shredding truck and no employees. Jason drove the truck and answered phones, and Sean handled marketing and administration. Over the past five years, their company has grown to 11 full-time employees and one part-timer. Its service area stretches from Marco Island north to Ocala and along Florida’s east coast from Jacksonville to West Palm Beach.

In 2015 they bought into Hudson Valley Shred in upstate New York and have since purchased Metro Shed and Stay Green Shedding. All three are now known as Legal Shred and do business throughout the state and those bordering New York, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The pair also formed a company called MedXWaste, now known as Red Bags, which provides disposal services for regulated medical waste. (To learn more, visit www.medxwaste.com, or call 844-733-2247.)

Legal Shred, 11806 U.S. 41 S, Gibsonton, offers residential and commercial document shredding on a one-time or regularly scheduled basis. All the paper it shreds is taken to a secure warehouse, and then later recycled into pulp, which ensures the customer even greater security.

“We have multiple locations around the state where shredded material is baled and shipped to the paper mills,” Jason said. “The process is good for the customer and the environment.”

LOIS KINDLE PHOTO
Jason Fredricks, co-owner of Legal Shred and Red Bags, holds one of the boxes Red Bags provides customers who use the company’s medical waste disposal service. The business incorporated as MedXWaste, dba Red Bags.

Legal Shred also destroys X-ray films, hard drives, old electronics, CDs, DVDs and microfiche.

One of the services its customers like is that they can see their documents being destroyed on site, Jason said. Many shredding companies, including some of the largest in the country, simply pick up the papers, put them in a truck and haul them away to be destroyed elsewhere.

Legal Shred offers that service if a customer chooses, but it provides a locked box that’s swapped out once filled.

Pricing is based on the frequency of the job, which can be as often as a customer needs, and the size and number of containers a customer chooses. One-time purges average $75, and monthly service starts at $45.

Hillsborough County will host a free document shredding by Legal Shred at the Apollo Beach Park & Recreation Center, 664 Golf and Sea Blvd., from 10 a.m. to noon March 4, and Payant Wealth Management will do the same from 3 to 6 p.m. April 20 at 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center.

“(Last year) was a banner year for fraudsters,” Sean wrote in a February article on the Legal Shred website. “According to a study from Javelin Strategy & Research, identity theft statistics show that the number of victims increased 16 percent to reach 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016, the highest number since Javelin began tracking fraud in 2003…The study also found there were two million more identity theft victims in 2016.”

To keep from becoming one of those statistics, call 813-445-7301 or visit www.legalshred.com.

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