College students easy target for ID theft practitioners

Young people on college campuses often don’t worry about identity theft, but they should.
“I initially was in shock,” said the victim, who did not want to be identified. “I didn’t think that that could happen to me especially at such a young age as a college student. I don’t have much credit built up.”
Her parents immediately knew someone had her personal information and was trying to get credit cards in her name.
“And my mother called me and asked me if I had applied for a green dot card because we had received one in the mail, but I told her that I never applied to any credit card,” she said.
Initially, she didn’t think it was a big deal. Her mother told her otherwise.
“She explained to me that this could have very long-term effects and it’s very hard to fix and prove that you are in fact who you are,” she said. “I was more angry than anything.”
She contacted Miami police, called the three credit agencies and started taking pro-active steps.
“Call the IRS,” she said. “Tell them that your identity has been stolen and they put a red flag on my name so if anything was to pop up I would be notified and so would they.”
They never learned how her identity was stolen, but experts say thieves target young people because they often aren’t using their credit line yet.
U.S. Postal Inspectors say educating young people especially in the age of social media is key.
“Start really preaching to them the importance of this is your DNA on paper,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez. “Your Social Security number is your DNA for the rest of your life. You have to guard it, you have to protect it, you have to monitor it.”
Postal inspectors say it’s important to think before you click. Before submitting your email address or other personal information online, be sure that your privacy of your information will be protected.
Some tips include:
Avoid using the “Remember my password” feature.
Only order online from credible companies.
Try to use the same credit card for all online purchases.


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