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College Students Easy Targets for ID Thieves

College students are vulnerable to identity theft for a number of reasons, according to a recent survey by Impulse Research for Chubb Group, Warren , N.J. Some of those reasons include:

  • Almost 49% of college students receive credit card applications on a daily or weekly basis and 30% of students throw them out without destroying them;
  • Nearly 48% of college students have had grades posted by Social Security number; and
  • Close to 30% of students rarely, if ever, reconcile their credit card and checking account balances.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. , with 700,000 new victims every year. The victim has to clean up the mess identity thieves leave behind--which the average consumer pays more than $1,000 to clean up, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The best way to minimize your chances of being a victim is to:

  • Shred all credit card approval offers;
  • Monitor your credit card bills and credit union and/or bank statements;
  • Don't leave mail or personal financial records lying around your apartment or dorm room; and
  • Keep your Social Security number as private as possible. Request a randomly generated student ID number instead