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8/19/16 at 12:40 AM 0 Comments

4 Important Tips for College Students About Identity Theft

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College students are the prime target for identity theft.

Why?

Because students are typically young adults, which are people that just became of legal age. They usually don’t have a blemished borrowing history. They also tend to get a ton of junk mail sent to them, which is usually discarded without getting shredded.

This makes the student population highly exposed to identity theft risks. It’s also why CNBC reported that students are four-times more likely to get victimized.

But students have ways to protect themselves and since they are new borrowers some of these techniques work very well. The four methods below are all highly effective, and should be considered by any and every student.

1) Place a security freeze and avoid new account fraud
Firstly, students can seriously reduce the chance of having their identity stolen by placing a security freeze on their credit report. Doing so will prevent a fraudster from being able to register a credit card in the victim’s name. This is because the credit freeze needs to be lifted in order for a new lender to be able to grab the student’s credit information.

Credit freeze laws vary by state. Students should read up on their state’s credit freeze laws before placing a freeze on their credit report. Also keep in mind, each state charges differently for placing and taking off this freeze.

2) Invest in identity theft protection for a hands-off approach
Many look down at identity theft protection services because they cost money without really ensuring 100% protection. But no one can guarantee protection, and having automated monitoring and alerts through an identity theft protection company is a huge convenience.

This type of coverage allows students to catch an identity theft attempt as it’s happening and stop it. If it weren’t for the identity protection, chances are the fraudster wouldn’t have gotten caught. Then the victim likely would’ve became one of the countless students who get victimized for years on end.

3) Get rid of all the revealing junk mail
Most students leave their personal data exposed in raw form. It’s commonplace in college and University dumpsters, where thieves can scoop up non-tampered mail with ease. The only way to prevent a dumpster diver from stealing information is to destroy all junk mail before it gets thrown out.

To make things easier, students can request to be removed from the list of recipients that receive pre-screened mail offers. This can be done via OptOutPrescreen.com either for five years or permanently.

4) Keep track of Social Security Number usage
Students can stop fraudsters from misusing their information in many different ways by setting up a my Social Security account. This site makes it possible for people to know whenever their Social Security Number gets used by someone else in court, to avoid medical bills, or to work.

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