|IDENTITY THIEVES TARGET COLLEGE STUDENTS|
|Posted on: Sep. 05, 2017 in Identity Theft|
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports there were nearly 400,000 identity theft complaints in 2016. This is a growing threat to individuals of all ages, but college students are exceptionally vulnerable. In 2014, the latest available data of this type, 22% of college students were alerted that they had been a victim of identity theft. Most found out after they applied for credit and were denied or a debt collector contacted them.
For college students, identity theft is particularly troubling. Many can find themselves unable to get the credit they need and deserve because someone has already damaged their credit history. They may find themselves fighting with creditors for debts they didn’t incur. Their own bank accounts may become inaccessible. They may have trouble securing an apartment or a job. They may not be able to access health insurance if that has been stolen. They can also be arrested for crimes they didn’t commit if someone is using their identity to commit additional fraudulent activities. And then, to make matters worse, these students often lack the experience and resources necessary to sort this all out on their own.
What makes college students more susceptible to theft? There are a number of contributing factors. First is that many don’t take the proper precautions to protect themselves either because they are unaware of the threat, they don’t think it could happen to them, or they are trusting of others. Another factor is that many students are sharing living space with others whom they do not really know.
If you or someone you know is headed to college, here are some tips to help them protect themselves from identity theft.
It’s tough to protect ourselves completely from identity theft, but we all must work hard to keep our information as safe as possible. Even in communal living situations like dorms and shared apartments, privacy and security are a must. Identity theft can ruin your credit for years to come, just when you’re getting ready to be out on your own. Protect yourself now before it’s too late.
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