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FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Identity theft and fraud are increasingly top concerns among individuals and small businesses, with 9.3 million Americans victimized in 2005*. Understanding that education is an essential element in protection from identity theft predators, Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), today announced it has formed a multi-year alliance with Frank W. Abagnale, world renowned expert on identity theft and fraud, author of The Art of the Steal and subject of Steven Spielberg's movie "Catch Me if You Can." To help drive awareness of solutions to this pervasive issue, Staples Shred Across America tour kicked off today bringing easy solutions to seventeen cities across the country via mobile shredder events.
"Identity theft can happen to anyone," said Frank W. Abagnale. "There are many simple, cost-effective safeguards consumers can use to help prevent them from becoming a victim, such as investing in a personal shredder and protecting personal computers with anti-theft locks and virus protection software. Together with Staples, my goal is to make more people aware of this issue and to develop new solutions that address this issue head on."
"Staples is dedicated to helping our customers protect their identity and sensitive information," said Jevin Eagle, senior vice president of Staples Brands for Staples, Inc. "We've teamed up with Frank to educate consumers and develop innovative security products and services to make protecting personal information easy."
Staples Shred Across America events include information and a demo area aimed at educating consumers about the importance of security solutions needed for identity protection--everything from shredders to virus protection software, including Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2007, a powerful security suite that immediately blocks viruses, worms and hackers attempting to infect or invade a person's computer. Tour stops include: Boston, Oct 17; New York, October 18; Philadelphia, October 20; Washington, DC, October, 21; Raleigh, October, 23; Charlotte, October, 24; Atlanta, October 26; Miami, October 28; Tampa, October, 30; Columbus, November, 2; Cincinnati, November, 3; Indianapolis, November, 6; Chicago, November, 8; Seattle, November 13; San Francisco, November, 15; Los Angeles, November, 17 and Phoenix, November, 20. For additional tour details, consumer tips on ways to prevent identity theft and product information visit www.staples.com/shredacrossamerica.
In conjunction with the tour, Staples is launching an innovative and exclusive line of Staples brand shredders that overcome existing limitations in shredder technology such as size and noise. The newest addition to this line is the Staples MailMate(TM) Junk Mail Shredder ($69.99). Powerful and compact, Staples MailMate(TM) shreds unopened junk mail, bank statements, CDs and credit cards. It has a sleek, stainless steel design that fits into a kitchen or home office. The Staples Ultra Quiet Heavy Duty MicroCut Shredder ($179.99) remains one of the most secure shredders on the market, featuring whisper quiet operation that minimizes disturbances while producing confetti-size shreds that cannot be put back together.
In addition to designing and producing essential products for the prevention of identity theft, Staples is also helping to lead the development of new security standard. The company recently became a founding member of a coalition of leading companies including Visa U.S.A., Microsoft and AT&T, to combat ID theft and fraud. Known as the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel is a collaboration spearheaded by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Better Business Bureau system (BBB) to create a single resource of pragmatic standards, guidelines and resources for businesses and organizations to prevent and respond to ID theft and fraud.
About Frank W. Abagnale
Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world's most respected authorities on the subject of forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. He was the subject of the major motion picture entitled "Catch Me If You Can." As a young man, he cashed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks over a five-year period. He was arrested at age 21 and after five years in jail, he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government, without remuneration, by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies. Mr. Abagnale has been associated with the FBI for over thirty years and more than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies around the world use his fraud prevention programs. Now, he is using his expertise to help Staples customers keep their personal and business information safe and secure. More information is available at www.abagnale.com. This alliance was facilitated by Axcess Partners Worldwide.
About Staples Brands
Staples offers its customers more than 2,000 Staples brand products in stores, Staples.com and through catalogs. Products range from ink and toner to paper, filing systems and technology accessories. All Staples products undergo an intense independent laboratory quality-testing program and are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.
Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 69,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2005 sales of $16.1 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates more than 1,800 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at www.staples.com.
* According to the 2006 Identity Fraud Survey Report co-released by Javelin Strategy and Research with the Better Business Bureau.