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.

Florida Shredding