Why University Students Should Be Careful About Identity Theft
Identity theft can happen to anyone, and the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is reminding students to be very selective about who you give your personal information too. That new "friend" could turn at to be "too good to be true".
The Better Business Bureau points out that colleges students are often a target for identity theft, and often the person stealing their information may be a new roommate, friend, and they can become the victim of a phishing scam on the Internet.
To be on the safe side, never leave paperwork un-shredded, and make sure you pay attention to your personal belongings, your desk and your mailbox. Thieves can even check out social media to try to get information about you.
Students should always monitor their bank, debit and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity.
Other tips to avoid getting scammed include:
- Send credit card and bank statements to your parents’ home or a post office box. School mailboxes are not always secure and often can be accessed easily in a dorm or apartment.
- Important documents should be stored under lock and key. This includes your Social Security card, passport and bank and credit card statements. Shred credit card offers and any paper documents that have sensitive financial information rather than just tossing them out.
- Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone. Just say no if your friend wants to borrow your card or asks you to co-sign for a loan or financing for items like a TV.
- Always check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. The sooner you identify any potential fraud, the less you’ll suffer in the long run. Most banks have a time limit on disputing charges to your account.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. You are entitled to one free report a year from each of the three reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Look for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.