Recently the Federal Trade Commission through its Consumer Sentinel Network issued its Data Book for last year dealing with fraud and identity theft. It found that identity theft was again the subject of the most complaints of any fraud or scam. Also recently, Javelin Strategy & Research issued its annual report about identity theft and found that identity thieves stole $16 billion from Americans last year. Both reports provide some insight into this crime and who is most vulnerable.
Both the Consumer Sentinel Network and the Javelin Strategy & Research study found young people of college age to be victims of identity theft at alarming rates with Javelin’s research also indicating that once their personal information had been compromised, it took students twice as long to remedy the problem once it was discovered.
College students may present the perfect storm for identity theft. They are vulnerable on their computers, smartphones and tablets. They are vulnerable in their dorm rooms. They are vulnerable through their mail and personal papers and they are vulnerable on the myriad of social media they use.