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BBB Offers Tips to Students to Avoid Identity Theft

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UNDATED – As area college kids get settled on campus, fighting fraud is probably not their top priority.  However, young adults are some of the most susceptible to identity theft.  Here’s a look at some tips to protect them on campus.

The Better Business Bureau says the average cost of identity theft is $631, and the average time spent resolving the problem is 33 hours — time better spent studying.

“Friendly fraud” accounts for 14% of all ID theft crimes.  This means new roommates and friends have just as much potential to commit the crime as a foreign-based scam.  And identity thieves think nothing of dumpster diving for unshredded paperwork.  Some even cruise social networking sites looking for personal tidbits.

The Better Business Bureau recommends seven steps to fighting identity theft: Send sensitive mail to your parents’ home, store important documents under lock and key, never lend your credit or debit card to anyone, make sure your computer is up-to-date antivirus and spyware software, always check your credit card and debit card statements, check out and verify unfamiliar websites, and check your credit report at least once a year.

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