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Now that the school year is getting into full swing, students are unfortunately becoming increasingly aware of fraudsters trying to steal their personal information and hard-earned money.
The Better Business Bureau says that identity theft can be a very serious problem, especially when it comes to students.
“Personal information that falls into the wrong hands can be used to commit illegal activities under an innocent student’s name, or they could find their hard-earned money completely drained from their bank accounts,” said Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay.
The organization says that by following a number of simple tips, students can protect themselves and their money:
Apply to scholarships, bursaries and awards that you know about and trust – any institution’s student financial aid office has information on all the scholarships and other offers available to students
Verify all job offers by going to the company’s website or LinkedIn page – by doing this, you can verify information about the company as well as learn about ways to contact them with further questions
Inspect rental ads closely and be aware of your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act – pay attention to poorly written ads and odd requests, such as direct money transfers
Consider having mail containing sensitive information forwarded to a secure location – school mailboxes are not always secure, so mail with sensitive information should be sent elsewhere, like a parent’s home or post office box
Update security software on your devices – ensure your antivirus and anti-spyware software is up to date
Monitor your credit and debit card statements – the faster you detect a fraud, the easier it will be to manage