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College-aged adults need to be wary of identity theft

Sep 04, 2013 Dave King

In the next couple of weeks, millions of college students will be returning to school. While they may think their biggest concern is how they will afford their textbooks, identity theft should also be on their minds.

Recently, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning to college-aged adults, saying they are the largest group of victims for this type of crime, CBS Denver reported. Consumers ages 20 to 29 accounted for 21 percent of all complaints in 2012.

Gregory Meyer, community relations manager at Meriwest Credit Union, told Daily Finance that many college students are naive about the risk of personal information being compromised.

"A lot of students don't believe they are targets for ID thieves as they have no money," he says. "You don't have to have money to be a target, you only need a name and social security number."

With back-to-school month here, financial institutions, such as short term lenders, need to step up ID verification procedures to help prevent identity theft. Criminals generally attempt to open credit accounts and loans using fraudulent names, so it is important for lenders to double check identities.