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COLLEGE IDENTITY THEFT IS A BIG CONCERN FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

According a consumer alert at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, identity theft is a growing problem in the United States, leaving many Americans in debt due to stolen funds. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, costing victims more than $5 billion annually. In particular, many college students don’t think about identity theft and how it might impact them. These young students can be ideal targets because they tend to remain unaware of how their credit file and history works along with any future consequences. Read More.

There are many ways identity thieves can take advantage of college students including the opening of new bank accounts or loans taken out in the students’ name. There are various ways theft can occur and students need to do their best to protect their identity.

In an interview with US News, Alan Woodward, a cyber-security expert, says students don’t need too much prompting to protect themselves from identity theft: “To protect themselves, students shouldn’t share login details with anyone and should refrain from posting private information – such as a full address, social security number, or date of birth – on social media, because thieves can use those to confirm identities, Woodward says. Students should also vary passwords between accounts, which shouldn’t relate to their personal information, and avoid saving passwords or PIN numbers online or on their computers or phones, he adds,” (How to Protect Against Identity Theft in College: US News, October 2, 2012).

“It’s hard to see so many young people being taken advantage of when it is so easy to teach them the proper way to protect themselves,” states Frank N. Darras, America’s leading disability insurance lawyer.“Identity theft happens much too frequently in this country and that is something we need to change. By teaching our youth and ourselves how to protect against identity theft, we have taken our first strong defensive step. The next step is to see what insurance options we have to prevent losing our savings.”

Some insurance companies now offer identity theft insurance and it is typically offered through homeowner’s policies. The policy “will reimburse a policyholder for expenses incurred to restore his or her identity, up to the limits stated in the policy.” Unfortunately, there is nothing out there to return the money that was stolen but at least identity theft insurance can help cover funds used to file paperwork or help reclaim a stolen identity (Do You Need Insurance For Identity Theft? Bankrate.com, August 2014).

“Don’t leave the protection of your income and life savings in the hands of someone else. As soon as you can, look at all the beneficial insurance policies out there and talk with your insurance agent about what you need for your family. Always be sure to read over any policy carefully to know what you are buying,” says Darras.

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