College students susceptible to identity theft

By Sean R Parker

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Sept. 14 2012 4:02 p.m. MDT

Scott and Kelly Smith answer question about illegal aliens using their daughter Bailey's Social Security number and ruining her credit report during a press conference by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in 2005.

Stephen Holt, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

Identity theft was reported the most among those ages 20-29 in 2010, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Out of the identity theft complaints recorded, 28 percent of victims didn’t report the incident to police.

Shundra Jackson, a resident of Atlanta, learned she was a victim of identity theft in 2008 when her job threatened to garnish her wages for failure to pay on credit cards she didn't even know about, according to reuters.com.

"It never crossed my mind to check my credit report because I knew nothing would be on it," Jackson told Reuters.

If a student becomes a victim of identity theft, they should get in touch with their bank, credit card companies and the main credit reporting bureaus, Bob Welther, assistant vice president of risk consulting at ACE Private Risk, told Reuters.

It is also a good idea to notify law enforcement so that an official record is kept for future reference, Adam Levin, chairman of Identity Theft 911, told Reuters.

When parents need to send money to students, they should do so through a secure bank account, Welther told Reuters.

Measures to prevent identity theft in college include not storing sensitive documents in shared living spaces, enabling password protection on devices that hold personal information and taking caution when sharing information through social media, said Mitch Lipka in a Reuters column.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

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