News & Resources

College students should take advantage of free credit reports to prevent ID theft

Sep 18, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Identity theft is crime without prejudice. It can affect persons of any walk of life, throwing up a barrier that can be hard to overcome. In an effort to combat identity theft, Mitch Lipka, a contributor to Reuters, suggests that college students need to study the crime, especially as individuals aged 20 to 29 remain most vulnerable to having personal and financial details stolen. Lipka notes that college students in particular are at risk when it comes to identity theft, due to their level of socializing, relocation and reliance on mobile and other electronic devices. Furthermore, as college students are just beginning to live on their own, many fail to take advantage of services such as free credit reports. The advantage of ordering their three free annual credit reports is echoed by Shundra Jackson, a graduate from the University of Georgia who had her identity stolen in 2008. Jackson, who is still dealing with the fallout from the incident, warned, "It can take seconds or minutes for someone to steal your identity, but it can take months or even years in a lot of cases to clear your name." Free credit reports are offered by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.