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Stephanie Garland: Be on guard against college ID theft

The Joplin Globe

For college freshmen leaving home, summer can be a frenzied time of shopping for dorm room essentials, packing up clothes and saying goodbye to high school friends. In the midst of this hustle and bustle, parents need to make time to talk to their students about money and protecting themselves against identity theft before they head off to school.

Thieves see young students as desirable victims because they usually have clean credit records — and they also may not know how to detect scams. Some students may leave sensitive papers in plain sight or they may forget to lock their dorm room doors. Theft by someone they know — even a roommate — is often more of a problem than hackers committing a data breach.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for 2018, reports of federal student loan fraud increased by 119% while reports of non-federal student loan fraud increased by 78%. FTC records showed that credit card fraud rose 24%. Those records also showed that people ages 20-29 lose money to fraud more frequently than older consumers with a median loss of $400.


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