TYLER — Kathy Self from Lindale helps out an elderly friend of hers every week.
On Saturday, she brought a pile of her old documents to the Better Business Bureau's annual "Secure Your ID Day" -- or 'shred day.'
The whole idea behind the 'shred day' is to help East Texans protect themselves from letting old documents and electronics fall into the wrong hands and becoming victims of identity theft.
"Yes and we're very concerned about that, that's why she felt this would be safer than putting it in the trash," Self said.
Mechelle Mills with the Better Business Bureau in Tyler says last year, 8.1 million people were affected by identity theft.
She says even though the number of victims is decreasing...the impact is getting stronger.
"The amount that's taken from individuals is a lot higher. It increased from $387 per person to about $631 per person, so the scammers are taking more than they used to from these individuals," Mills said.
Mills tells KETK, STS Electronics deals with the old hard drives and other electronics while Arklatex shredding takes the old documents.
She says the system they use sure beats your average office paper shredder.
"Because of the type of shredding they do, it keeps it a lot more secure. You can sit here and you can watch it, and with the amount of junk mail we get and all..you know, the things that contain our personal information...it's just a lot easier to bring it here," Mills said.
Today's shredding lasted from 9 to 1 at the BBB Headquarters in Tyler.
Mills tells KETK they shredded 15,000 pounds last year and they hoped to beat that this year.