It’s time to turn high school seniors into college freshmen, but state officials say it’s also time for those freshmen to get ready to deal with the dangers of identity theft.
Consumer protection spokesman Jerad Albracht says students need to closely watch their credit now that they may be applying for loans. “They should review any sort of bank and credit card statements for any kid of unauthorized charges or withdrawals, and they should also get into the notion of getting the occasional credit report from Annual credit report dot com, reviewing that as well for any unauthorized lines of credit.”
Since students will now be handling their own finances in many cases, they really ought to be keeping an eye on how they’re going to pick a credit card. “There’ll be people on campus with tables set up in different areas, there’ll be freebies involved. Different retail stores they go to will have different types of offers, and college students will need to be read to deal with that when it comes.” Albrecht says a good idea is for students to talk about getting a credit card with their bank and talking about how much credit they actually need.
Students should also be keeping an eye on how much personally identifiable information they have lying around their dorm room or apartment. “Anything that’s not necessary, and any kind of documentation they have that has this kind of information on should straight into a shredder.” That includes pre-approved credit card offers, old bank statements and utility bills. Albrecht says a great gift from parents is a new shredder and a sturdy lockbox