Unbeknownst to them, college students and high school seniors are primary targets of identity theft. Their credit reports are typically limited, and neither they nor their parents tend to pay much attention to their credit history. Combine this with young people’s tendency to shop online and engage in digital advertisements, and you’ll realize why they are the key focus for fraudsters. As many rising seniors prepare for their first year of college and other students return for another semester, it is most important to stay abreast of current identity theft schemes.
How College Students are Targeted for ID Fraud
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regularly issues back-to-school warnings regarding identity theft and internet scams for college students. They’ve recently improved their efforts as fraudsters and scammers continue to target college students in various ways.
Scams Against College Students
One of the most recent scams involves students receiving calls from individuals claiming to be government employees. They request students to upload funds to an iTunes card to pay phony debts like a “federal student tax” or face legal repercussions. Scammers will also pretend to be from the admissions office and threaten to drop the student from all classes if they fail to make immediate payment.
For students who have work-study jobs or other on-campus employment, hackers will send an email requesting the individual to verify information. In the email, they’ll instruct the student to click a link and input their username and password. The hackers then use that login information to access their account and redirect direct deposits. If the targeted students do not regularly check their balance, they can easily overdraft their accounts as they continue with their regular spending habits.
Frauds Against College Students
Experts say that the most immediate threat for identify theft lies in general access to personal documents. Dorm rooms and other community living forums, at times, place unfamiliar individuals in close quarters. FAFSA applications, Social Security numbers, credit card information, utility bills, and bank account numbers are fair game to roommates and all visitors if not stored or disposed of properly. Those who gain access to this information can easily use another student’s identity to make purchases and charges.
A more indirect threat of identity fraud comes in the form of digital credit card applications. Fraudsters will send an email claiming that the individual has been pre-approved for a credit card and they must simply fill out an application to get it. Such forms require the person to list his or her social security number as well as other personal information. It can also be a dual effort as hackers will also place links in the email that, if clicked, allow them to crawl your computer for sensitive information.
Identity theft puts many Americans in debt daily. Failure to identify identity theft when it occurs can lead to seemingly insurmountable debt and relentless calls for payment. The credit card debt lawyers at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi have experience representing those who suffer from credit card debt and can make you aware of your legal options. Contact us at 1-844-JIBRAEL today if a creditor is suing you for credit card debt. You don’t pay a dime until Jibrael wins for you!