New York-based business analyst John Reiley shares 7 tips for preventing student identity theft
As college students head back to college or prepare for their first semester as a college student, their primary concerns revolve around financial aid, buying books, making it to class, finding a job, and juggling everything that comes with college life.
What most of these students aren’t thinking about is identity theft. Most students think identity theft is something that happens to older people and those with big bank accounts and successful lives.
They wonder why anyone would even want to steal their identity- the answer simply is that anyone and everyone can fall victim to identity theft, and it is that lack of concern that makes college students at particular risk.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft, which is basically stealing someone’s financial and personal information for personal gain,is considered to be the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In the US, identity theft costs people around $5 billion annually. Personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, address, and bank information are what is needed for someone to steal a person’s identity.
Once personal information has been stolen, the thief will use your identity to open bank accounts, hack into your own bank, take out lines of credit and loans in your name and run up other expenses. According to the NAIC around 675,000 identity theft complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission a few years ago and of those cases, as much as 30 percent were filed by young adults ranging in ages from 18 to 24.
(Next page: 7 helpful tips to protect your identity)