Identity theft literally steals who you are and it can seriously jeopardize your financial future. Imagine having thousands of dollars of unauthorized debt and a wrecked credit rating because of identity theft. The unfortunate reality of identity theft is that it is you, the victim, who is responsible for cleaning up the mess and re-establishing your good name and credit. The experience of thousands of identity theft victims is that this frustrating experience often requires months and even years.
As a student, you may even be more vulnerable to identity theft because of the availability of your personal data and the way many students handle this data. A recent national survey of college students found:
You probably answered yes to at least one of these questions about daily transactions that you routinely perform. Each of these routine actions places you at risk of being a victim of identity theft because each of these transactions require you to share personal information such as your bank and credit card account numbers, your Social Security number, or your name, address, and phone number. This is the same personal information that identity thieves use to commit fraud.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has set out the following steps to take if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft.
All information was acquired from the United States Federal Trade Commission.