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BBB Alert: College-Age Students are Slower Detecting Fraud

BBB offers tips for college students to follow to prevent identity theft while on campus.


2010-08-19
RALEIGH, NC, August 19, 2010 (Press-News.org) Over the next few weeks, schools around eastern North Carolina will welcome thousands of students back to campus. As these young adults begin, or continue, their college journey, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina reminds them of the importance of protecting their identity.

According to the 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report released by Javelin Strategy and Research, more than 11 million people became victims of identity theft in 2009. Young adults aged 18-24 took the longest to detect identity theft—132 days on average—when compared to other age groups. Subsequently, the average cost ($1,156) was roughly five times more than amount lost by other age groups.

"College students have enough to juggle when it comes to school, work and their social lives. Fighting fraud often doesn't make the list of priorities," said Beverly Baskin, President and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. "The young adults who take the time to establish good habits for monitoring and detecting fraud and add this to their list of priorities are laying the foundation for a healthy financial future."

Because college students are so susceptible to identity theft, BBB recommends that they take simple steps to protect themselves from fraud:

• Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus and spyware software. Always install any updates to your computer's operating system or browser software which help keep your computer safe from any new advances by identity thieves online.

• Always check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity.

• Check your credit report at least once a year with all three reporting bureaus to spot suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

• Send sensitive mail to a permanent address such as a parent's home or a PO Box.

• Store important documents, such as Social Security card, passport, bank and credit card statements, under lock and key in a filing cabinet or other secure location. Shred any paper documents that have sensitive financial, including credit card offers.

• Check out a business at bbb.org, when you find yourself buying a new TV or dorm room supplies from an unfamiliar store. This will help you decide if you are working with a trustworthy company, or if you should search somewhere else.

For more advice on fighting fraud and managing personal finances visit us online at http://easternnc.bbb.org/consumer-tips-finance/.

The Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in Eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by membership dues from more than 2,900 local businesses and professional firms. The BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by the BBB include, reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, dispute resolution services, and consumer/business education programs. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.

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[Press-News.org] BBB Alert: College-Age Students are Slower Detecting Fraud
BBB offers tips for college students to follow to prevent identity theft while on campus.
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