St. Louis (KSDK) - As college students head back to campus, fighting fraud may not be at the top of their list of priorities. But it should be.
The Better Business Bureau says college students are particularly vulnerbale to identity theft. The BBB has this advice for college students and their parents.
- Send sensitive mail to your parents' home or a post office box. School mailboxes are not always secure and often can be accessed easily in a dorm or apartment.
Important documents should be stored under lock and key. This includes your Social Security card, passport and bank and credit card statements.
- Shred credit card offers and any paper documents that have sensitive financial information rather than just tossing them out.
- Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone. Just say no if your friend wants to borrow your card or asks you to co-sign for a loan or financing for items like a TV.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware software. Always install any updates and patches to your computer's operating system or browser software, which help keep your computer safe from any new advances by identity thieves online.
- Always check your credit or debit card statements closely for any suspicious activity. The sooner you identify any potential fraud, the less you'll suffer in the long run.
- Check out unfamiliar websites with the BBB. Look for the BBB Accredited Business seal along with other trust seals; click on the seals to confirm that they are legitimate.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. You are entitled to one free report a year from each of the three reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Look for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies. You can do this for free by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Click on the video player to see the BBB's interview with NewsChannel 5.