Avoiding Campus ID Thefts

Most college students living away from home are managing their finances for the first time, and the information attached to paying the bills can be ripe for scammers.

Karin Caifa has tips on how to avoid campus identity theft, in today's Consumer Watch.

A college campus is meant to be a safe and social environment.

But with so many people living under a dorm roof, it's important to make sure personal information stays safe.

A better business bureau survey of identity fraud found 14 percent of id theft is what they call "friendly fraud" perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

So the BBB recommends taking steps to protect your identity on campus.

Mail containing sensitive or personal information should go to a parents' home or to a post office box.

Dorm mailboxes aren't always secure, and sometimes accessed by multiple students.

Important documents like social security cards and passports should stay under lock and key.

Students constantly come and go from dorm rooms, and those items, and the sensitive information they carry, can easily disappear.

Roommates love to share but your bank card, credit card, and your ATM pin number should be kept to yourself.

Keep your laptop up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, especially when using WIFI around or off campus.

And it's never too early keep tabs on credit.

Check bank and credit statements regularly for any suspicious charges, and your credit report at least once per year.

For consumer watch, I'm Karin Caifa.


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