When students go to school this fall, they must be vigilant against the scams, systems and tricks of the scams. Theft of student identity is increasing worldwide. Like most predators, identity thieves like to target young and old. This is why 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 between the ages of 20 and 29. 
- 49% of all suspected cases of identity fraud in Canada have a victim aged between 18 and 34 years. 
- There has been a 24% increase in identity fraud among British victims under the age of 21. 
Students make ideal victims of fraud
There are several reasons why students are so often targeted by 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 about preventive security measures, such as pulling credit reports and safe browsing and social media. A new survey revealed that Millennials got the lowest among all age groups by taking preventative measures against identity theft and fraud. 
Students also fill in forms and applications continuously, for everything from student aid and loans, to housing, credit cards and jobs. They can often be used to fill in information for a company or club that is not legitimate. Finally, most students have a limited credit history and companies want to form credit relationships with them. Assuming a student's identity often makes it easy for fraudsters to obtain loans or credit cards.
Experience can lead to mistrust
For many young adults, college or university is their first long residence. They lack the experience of flim-flam and con artists that their parents have acquired during a lifetime of adulthood. It is therefore not surprising that students tend to put their trust in people too quickly and share personal information while making 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 fraud opens a new account, more than half of the victims know the thief!  It is best to be reserved about personal information 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 fake IDs, take over mobile phone accounts, steal tools, obtain mortgages or leases, get a job or steal your tax payment. You name it and identity thieves have probably figured out a way to rip it off. For victims between the ages of 20 and 29, 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 victims under the age of 21 in the UK, 79% have increased bank, debit and credit card fraud.  During the United States, the number of mobile phone accounts almost doubled in one year from 380,000 incidents. in 2017 to nearly 680,000 victims 2018. 
Talk to students about the dangers
Share the facts in this article with students you know and encourage them to be extra vigilant when they go to college. With the right knowledge and solutions for cyber defense, students do not have to fall victim to identity theft.
A Identity Fraud Protection approval offers protection for the devastating effects of identity theft costs, 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, or if you want to get insurance. ]
 "Equifax Canada Reports: Millennials Top Target for Fraudsters," Equifax Canada, March 28, 2017.
 "Young Fraud Increases: New Data Reveals 24% of Under-21s Who Fall Victim identity fraud, "Cifas, 10 October 2018
" Consumer Sentinel Data Book: 2018, "US Federal Trade Commission, 2019.   " Equifax Canada Reports: Millennials' Top Fraud Targets, "Equifax Canada, 28 March 2017 .
   Ibid.
 "Young Fraud Increases: New Data Reveals 24% of Under-21 Identity Fraud Victims," Cifas, October 10, 2018
Blog Content Courtesy of CyberScout, LLC. © 2020
Copyright © 2020 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.