Avoid an Identity Raid
Identity theft occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes.
Did you know that one-third of identity theft victims are under the age of 30, and most are college students?
As a student, you can take special steps to make sure your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. If you live in a community setting, like a dorm or apartment, keep your personal papers, like your birth certificate, Social Security card, transcripts, FAFSA form or other documents with personal information, in a fire-proof lock box. Lock boxes are relatively cheap and available from many stores.
Instead of tossing documents with sensitive information in the trash, use a cross-cut shredder to destroy them. It’s also a good idea to keep your passwords secret. If you must write them down to remember them, store them in the lock box with your other sensitive items.
Here are a few other tips to keep you safe from identity theft:
• Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
• Don’t give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
• Don’t use obvious passwords, like your name, birth date or mother’s maiden name.
• Be aware of bills that don’t arrive as usual.
• Keep an eye out for charges to your account that you didn’t make.
• Monitor your credit history.
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get one free copy of your credit report each year from the three major consumer reporting agencies. THIS IS THE ONLY FREE WEBSITE TO CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT!!!