Identity Fraud and Consumer Theft

Students and Identity Theft

Students are not safe from identity theft

 

Just because you are a student does not mean you are safe from identity theft. Even though, at this time, you do not have much wealth or material assets, an identity thief is not normally looking for these things. They are looking to steal your good name and standing for their own material gains. They are taking away your identity, your good reputation and hurting your financial future just by using your name.

 

This happens when identity thieves take your personal information and open credit card accounts, bank loans, utility accounts and then leave the balances rise and rise until they are maxed out. When they do that, they are leaving you with thousands and thousands of dollars of debt!

What is the most unsettling for the person who is the victim of identity theft is that any clean up falls to the person who was victimized! The victim is responsible for restoring his or her good name, to re-establish a good credit rating, and to sort through all the financial mess the identity thief left behind. When all is said and done, this can take months, sometimes years, to accomplish.

 

Some sources show that students are even more vulnerable to having their identities stolen. Identity theft is a crime of opportunity, and there are several opportunities to steal personal information from a student. Some examples are:

  • Most students receive credit card offers on a daily basis… but they throw them away without destroying them first. These offers contain a great deal of personal information that can be used for identity theft.
  • Students’ grades are often posted by Social Security number! What an easy way to get this information, since it is hanging on a wall for all to see.
  • Many students use the computers in public areas or cell phones to do banking, buy tickets for various events and travel, and to buy merchandise. A sneaky person can easily look over your shoulder as you type in “name, address, phone, credit card number” or listen to you give information over the phone. All that information will give the identity thief what they need to steal your identity.

The list goes on and on!

 

So, as a student, remember to keep as close an eye on your credit and banking statements and check your credit report every year. Don’t let identity theft destroy your future!