Tips For College Students To Fight Identity Fraud

The first day of class at MSU starts in less than two weeks.

College students are some of the most susceptible to identity theft, but for most, fighting fraud is not a top priority.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers has some tips to help keep Texoma students and their identities safe.

"Partying, girls and a little bit of school," that what Tex McCullough said was on his mind when he first started college.

"Going away to college and social life and a little bit of studies, this is the last thing college students are thinking about. But they need to be aware of it and protect their identities and have a good foundation for later in life," North Central Texas BBB President Monica Horton said.

Thieves like going after college students because they want to exploit students' typically clean credit record.

A recent survey shows people ages 18 to 24 took the longest to detect identity theft.

"The longer it takes to detect, the more damage can be done," Horton said.

Subsequently, the average cost was about five times more than the amount lost by other age groups.

"They are not as proactive at checking their bank statement and checking their financial information as some of the older people," Horton said.

We wanted to see if identity theft was on the minds of Texoma students, so we caught up with some of the players for the MSU soccer team.

"It's not something you think about until it happens to someone else and then you think, wow maybe I should be more cautious," MSU students Casey Hibbs said.

"My mom brought it up a couple of times but I didn't know anything until then. She told me not to blurt out my social security number," MSU student Vcmore Eligwe said.

Most of the guys we talked with say they've never checked their credit report.

But, they do practice other habits to help protect themselves.

Like monitoring their bank accounts online for suspicious activity and being mindful of important documents.

"Cut them up pretty good. Make sure they are all destroyed," McCullough said.

Some other good ideas are to have sensitive mail sent to a permanent address like a parents home or P.O. box.

If a friend wants you to co-sign on a loan for items like a T.V., just say no and make sure your computer has up-to-date anti virus and spyware software.

An upcoming senior shares his advice to incoming freshmen.

"Just be cautious with what you do and who you give your information to," Hibbs said.

If you plan on doing any online shopping, the BBB recommends checking the company out on their website before making any purchases.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6