Identity theft big among college students
If you are the parent of a college student, you should read on: Did you know 18- to 29-year-old adults reported the largest amount of identity-theft complaints last year?
This statistic is not surprising considering college students are high on the list of those receiving credit card and other promotional materials, according to a news release.
“Credit card offers, communal dormitory garbage cans and unsolicited mail make college campuses an identity thief’s dream,” says Kristen Gehrig, senior marketing manager at Fellowes Inc., a company that produces office products.
If you haven’t spoken to your child about how to protect his or her identity, here are some points to pass on:
* Do not throw credit card offers, bank statements or documents containing personal information into shared dumpsters or waste bins without shredding them first.
* Many dormitories have an open box for outgoing mail, but to ensure personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, tell your child to use a locked mailbox to send mail.
* If he is planning to apply for a credit card, a first for many college students, tell him to check his credit report annually.
* As he shares his e-mail address with new friends or signs up to receive university updates, make sure he knows to download Internet files or click on hyperlinks only from people he knows.
* Use updated anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software on his computer to protect it from online scammers.
* Your child should never give out his credit card number or other personal information over the telephone unless he was the one to make the call in the first place.