College students: Protect your identity from scammers

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OMAHA, Neb. — College students can be easy targets for scam artists and identity thieves.

With new surroundings and different people on campus, it’s difficult to know who to trust.

Recent Better Business Bureau research shows 69 percent of scam victims are under the age of 45 and young adults of the millennial generation are now more likely to fall victim to a scam than baby boomers.

Knowing the most common cons directed at students can help educate young adults to identify and ultimately avoid falling victim to the tricks of con artists.

Do not click

College students and their families can also be proactive in fighting fraud with this advice from the Better Business Bureau: Verify the identity of a sender before downloading attachments or clicking on links in emails or text messages, even if they appear to be urgent, to avoid Phishing Scams.

Be wary

Steer clear of employment scams by researching job offers sent to your school email account or posted on school message boards promising flexible hours with excellent pay.

Always check for website security (https) when entering contact details or financial information.

Verify business contact information when shopping online or risk potentially falling for an online purchase scam.

If you’re asked to pay for a product or service with a prepaid money card, a wire transfer or with a gift card, you should verify the person or company through which the request was made.

These types of payment requests are common with roommate/rental scams, social media scams and other online transactions.

Protect your information

Lock up materials with sensitive information, like student IDs, and social security and account numbers, to protect yourself from identity theft.

Remember that it’s not always a stranger looking to steal your personal financial information and someone you know can gain access to your personal information in dorms or other common spaces.

Never allow someone else, even someone you think is a friend, access to your financial accounts.

This will prevent scams like card cracking, when someone offers to pay you to use your bank account to deposit a check.

Avoid using your campus mailbox to send or receive sensitive mail.

Be aware of identity thieves who may target children and teens.

Checking a child’s credit report once per year can help verify the child is safe from identity theft.

Thanks to a new federal law in the U.S., free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts are available through the three credit reporting agencies.

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