Better Business Bureau offers tips to prevent ID theft at colleg - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Better Business Bureau offers tips to prevent ID theft at college

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
(KFVS) -

The Better Business Bureau is recommending some simple steps to protect college-bound students from identity theft and other fraud on campus.

“Identity theft can affect penniless students as much or more than their parents,” said Michelle Corey, St. Louis BBB President and CEO. “Sometimes a relatively clean credit record can be very attractive to thieves. By establishing good habits for monitoring and detecting fraud, students can establish healthy financial habits for the rest of their lives.”

About four percent of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission last year involved people 19 or under – a total of 15,496 complaints.

The number jumped to 15 percent for those age 20 to 29, for a total of 58,904 complaints.

BBB recommends that college-bound students take the following steps to fight identity theft on campus:

School mailboxes are not always secure and often can be accessed easily in a dorm or apartment. To combat sticky fingers in the mailroom, have sensitive mail sent to a permanent address, such as a parent’s home or a post office box.

Important documents should be stored under lock and key. This includes your Social Security card, passport and bank and credit card statements. Shred any paper documents that have sensitive financial information rather than just tossing them out. Also shred any credit card offers that come in the mail.

Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone, even if they are a friend. Just say no if your friend wants you to co-sign for a loan or financing for items like a TV.

Make sure your computer, laptop or tablet has up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware software. Always install any updates and patches to your computer’s operating system or browser software, which help keep your computer safe from new schemes or hacks by identity thieves online.

Always check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. The sooner you identify any potential fraud, the less you’ll suffer in the long run. Getting your statements online is more secure, but make sure you actually look at the statements.

When shopping on unfamiliar websites, always check the company out with the BBB. Look for a BBB Accredited Business seal and click on the seal to confirm it’s legitimate.

Check your credit report at least once a year with all three reporting bureaus for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free by clicking here.

For more tips, visit bbb.org or call toll free at 888-996-3887.

Consumers may obtain BBB Business Profiles or post Customer Reviews by clicking here.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

  • Suspect in fatal church shooting charged with murder

    Suspect in fatal church shooting charged with murder

    Sunday, September 24 2017 1:14 PM EDT2017-09-24 17:14:40 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 12:12 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:12:45 GMT

    The suspect in the fatal shooting at an Antioch church will be charged with one count of murder in connection with the shooting on Sunday morning, police said.

    The suspect in the fatal shooting at an Antioch church will be charged with one count of murder in connection with the shooting on Sunday morning, police said.

  • breaking

    Gunman, victims identified in Tennessee church shooting

    Gunman, victims identified in Tennessee church shooting

    Sunday, September 24 2017 8:24 PM EDT2017-09-25 00:24:08 GMT

    One person has been killed and at least six others have been wounded in a shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., which is 20 miles south of Nashville.

    One person has been killed and at least six others have been wounded in a shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., which is 20 miles south of Nashville.

Powered by Frankly