Be AwareIdentity theft happens when your personal information is taken over by thieves in order to open new accounts, file fake tax returns, rent or buy properties or other criminal activities. As a student, having your identity stolen can have long-term repercussions. For instance, it can hinder you from getting a job after graduation or prevent you from signing a lease on an apartment. Essentially, your fresh start in the real world after college could be less like a dream and more like a nightmare.
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How to Identify ScamsBesides taking precautionary measures to protect against identity theft, you can learn the signs to identify scams and intrusive online actions as well as how to refrain from risky behavior. These days, most identity theft occurs online, which would likely be the place you’d apply for a student loan. As you navigate the web, beware of clicking on links that offer to install malware on your computer or utilizing websites that advertise deals that seem too good to be true. When you check your email, never click on links or attachments from users you don’t know or in emails that look suspicious.
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How to Recover from Scams and Identity TheftIf you have fallen victim to identity theft, there are steps you can take to amend your credit score and financial history. First, contact your financial institutions to let them know you have been a victim of identity fraud and ask that accounts opened in your name be closed. Next, obtain a credit report to get a big picture of the damage done. Also, contact one of three credit reporting agencies to run an initial report on your financial activity for the next 90 days, which can be extended to up to seven years. Finally, file a police report and notify the Federal Trade Commission. Taking these steps will provide evidence that you’ve been a victim of identity theft and are working to make it right.
How to Stay Informed
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