Identity Theft on Campus

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Identity Theft on Campus

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College Identity Theft is a growing problem because college kids are easy prey.

20% of identity thefts are friendly fraud. Fraud done by people you know. College students are especially at risk because of the social nature of living in dorms. It’s not uncommon for students to let someone else borrow a laptop – and they rarely, if ever, create a second user account for guests.

They don’t get it!

Most college students are not even concerned about identity theft. They view it as an issue that won’t affect them because they don’t have much money or credit. But it’s really not about stealing money. Someone could use a student’s driver’s license to get credit card accounts, apply for jobs, loans or any other fraudulent activity.

Sometimes it takes as much as two years before Identity Fraud is discovered. To keep your identity safe on campus:

  • Shred unwanted mail in a secure garbage (or recycling!) receptacle;

  • Never access your bank account from a public computer;

  • Establish a guest user identity for other people to use on your computer;

  • Answer security questions with fictional answers;

  • Never lend your ID to be used by another person;

  • Install robust anti-virus and anti-malware programs;

  • Never illegally download media from a file-sharing site;

  • Switch to electronic bank statements instead of paper; 

  • Balance your checkbook. People who are unaware of their balances are at risk of incurring fraudulent charges.

College is a place where we learn about the way the world works, usually through trial and error. However, things that are as important as your identity should not be left up to chance.

Judith HeftJudith Heft, Principal, Judith Heft & Associates is a personal financial concierge with offices in Greenwich and Stamford. She can be contacted via email at or by phone 203-978-1858

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