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College Students Are High Risk for Identity Theft

June 19, 2008

2,317,830 – That’s the number of identities involved in security breaches from colleges and universities in the US in the first five months of 2008. This number is from PrivacyRights.org where they track this kind of stuff.  There are actually more but there are breaches that are reported as ‘Unknown’ for the amount of information stolen. Another good month for identity thieves is happening now with 106,200 identities compromised in just the first half of June.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone who’s personal information was stolen will actually become a victim, but it sure does put a lot of young adults at risk through no fault of their own.

One of the problems with people in the 18-24 year old range is that they don’t give a lot of thought about checking their credit reports. We all tend to think we’re bullet-proof at that age. This gives identity thieves plenty of time to do their dirty deeds and make a clean getaway. Get a free credit report at http://annualcreditreport.com not ‘free credit report dot com’.

Another reason college students are such a high risk for identity theft is because they move so often. Their mail doesn’t always get forwarded properly and plenty of pre-approved credit offers land in the wrong hands. Bank statements, Student Loan info and FAFSA paperwork have lots of personal info in them. You don’t want to have that kind of mail going to just anyone.

Then there are vendors for credit card companies that set up on campuses and offer students credit cards. The applications require social security number, date of birth, name address – just the kind of info a thief would want. It’s possible that some vendors aren’t legit or the person taking the apps is also making copies.

Yes, I am that paranoid. You have to be careful about giving out your info. Learn to protect it now. Good credit is vitally important to you all through your adult life.

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