Thursday, 10 August 2017 07:36

College Students at High Risk for Identity Theft

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In 2014, 22 percent of college students received notifications that they had been victims of identity theft fraud, according to research by Javelin Strategy and Research. The students discovered their situation after being denied credit or being contacted by a debt collector. The percentage of students victimized was three times higher than the average. Additionally, students were four times more likely to be victimized by someone they knew. Identity thieves use many methods to steal personal data from students, including “shoulder surfing,” a technique in which a thief looks over the victim’s shoulder to view ATM numbers, and by sending out fake credit card offers asking for detailed personal information. Students can protect themselves by taking some simple steps. For example, they should only give out personal information on a “need to know” basis to as few people as possible. Social Security cards and driver’s licenses should not be carried together, and credit cards or ATM cards should never be loaned to anyone. Students should also take care to avoid over-sharing of personal details with people they do not know well.

Resources

“College Students Face a High Risk of Identity Theft,” Jonathan Berr, Consumer Reports

 

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