When students go to school this fall, they must be vigilant against scams, plans and tricks for identity fraud. Student identity theft is increasing, all over the world. Like most predators, identity thieves want to target young and old. Therefore, college students and university students often fall victim to identity theft. Consider these statistics:
- 19% of all identity theft complaints in America are made by people aged 20 to 29. 
- 49% of all suspected identity fraud in Canada have a victim aged 18 to 34. 
- It There has been a 24% increase in identity fraud among UK victims over 21 years. 
Students are ideal for fraud
There are several reasons why students are so often targeted at identity thieves. First, they tend to be less monitored and careful with personal information, so it is easier to collect necessary data points. Second, they are often less vigilant when it comes to preventive security measures, such as pulling credit reports and safe browsing and social media. A recent survey revealed that Millennials received the lowest of all age groups when they took preventive measures against identity theft and fraud. 
Students also fill in forms and applications continuously, for everything from student grants and loans, to housing, credit cards and jobs. They can often be tricked into filling out information for a company or club that is not legitimate. Finally, most students have a limited credit history, and companies want to establish credit relationships with them. Assuming that a student's identity often makes it easy for fraudsters to get a loan or credit card.
Inexperience can lead to misplaced trust
For many young adults, college or university is their first extended stay away from home. They lack the experience of flim-flam and con artists that their parents have gained over a lifetime of adults. It is therefore not surprising that students tend to put their trust in people too quickly and share personal information when they make new friends. This can be catastrophic.
Today, "friendly fraud" – where the victim knows the perpetrator – accounts for 15% of all fraud committed.  In cases of identity theft where the fraudster opens a new account, more than half of the victims know the thief!  It is best to be reserved about personal details when getting to know new roommates, friends or love interests.
Identity theft has many forms
In addition to credit cards and bank accounts, identity theft can be used to obtain fraudulent ID numbers, take over mobile phone accounts, steal tools, get mortgages or leases, get a job or steal your tax refund. You're called it and identity thieves have probably figured out a way to tear it down. For victims aged 20 to 29 years, the most reported types of identity theft are:
- 26% credit card
- 21% other identity theft
- 14% employment or tax
- 14% telephone or tools
- 11% loans or leasing
- 9% bank
- 3% government ID or benefits
Dramatic increases in two types of fraud have been noted by researchers. Among under-21 victims in the UK, there has been a 79% increase in bank, debit and credit card-related fraud.  Meanwhile, the takeover of mobile phone accounts doubled in just one year, from 380,000 incidents in 2017 to almost 680,000 victims in 2018. 
Talk to students about the dangers
Share facts in this article with students you know and encourage them to be extra vigilant when going to college. With the right knowledge and cyber defense solutions, students do not have to fall victim to identity theft.
A Identity Fraud support provides protection for the devastating effects costs of identity theft as well as identity management and recovery services. Central has partnered with CyberScout, one of the country's leading providers of identity management solutions, to offer many services.
Contact your independent insurance agent if you want to know more about the protection of identity fraud protection or for a quote. ]
 "Equifax Canada Reports: Millennials Top Target for Fraudsters," Equifax Canada, March 28, 2017.
 "Young Fraud Fighters Increase: New Data Reveals 24% of Under-21 Under-21 Victims for Identity Fraud, "Cifas, October 10, 2018
" Consumer Sentinel Data Book: 2018, "US Federal Trade Commission, 2019.
" Equifax Canada Reports: Millennials Top Target for Fraudsters, "Equifax Canada, March 28, 2017.
   Ibid.
 "Fighting Young Fraud Increases: New Data Reveals 24% of Under-21s Who Fall Victim of Identity Fraud," Cifas, October 10, 2018
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