Headed to College? Don’t Become a Victim of Identity Theft – by Christine Bowen

Perpetrators of identity theft have the ability to obtain credit cards and loans in your name and then not pay the bills. They can open utility accounts, rent an apartment, obtain a cellular phone, and even purchase a car or a home on your dime, without your knowledge. They can commit crimes in your name and leave you with a criminal record. Undoing the damage done by identity theft isn’t easy—it’s a long, hard road to prove what is your responsibility and what is not. Protect yourself now by following these rules.

Leave Your Social Security Card at Home

Your financial livelihood is linked to your social security card. The only time you should ever have to display your social security card is when you are hired by a new employer. Do not carry it in your wallet, rather leave it in a safe place at home, preferably in a fireproof safe. You might even consider renting or safety deposit box.

Purchase a Shredder

As a young adult you will receive applications for credit cards from a multitude of lenders. Anyone with your information can take those applications and apply for credit in your name. Protect yourself and shred all documents that contain personal information, including bank statements, credit card statements, utility bills and tax documents.

Use Identity Protection

Identity protection from companies such as Lifelock, provide protection against fraudulent activity including your credit reports, public records, and websites where stolen information is frequently bought and sold. As with any theft, the sooner you become aware that identity theft has occurred, the sooner you are able to recover.

Look over your shoulder

Shoulder surfing” is a new high tech way of stealing your identity. Today’s cellular phones enable thieves to video record your information either as you complete an application form or enter your information into a computer. Prevent this type of identity theft by remaining aware of your surroundings. Take note of who is listening and who has a direct line of sight to your keypad. If you have any reason to be suspicious, walk away.

Stop Phishing

The act of obtaining victims’ sensitive information by posing as a trusted company is called “Phishing.” For example, you receive an email from your bank requesting you verify your password or social security number via email. Do so and you are providing basic information to an identity thief. Learn to recognize spoofed emails and websites that urgently ask for various types of information. Use extreme caution when you receive an unsolicited email concerning your account information.

Know Emergency Contact Information

Ensure you have an inventory of all your lenders along with their contact information. Should you discover your identity has been stolen you will need to contact all your creditors as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to your credit. You will not want to waste any time struggling to contact credit card companies while you watch your savings account dwindle to nothing.

Author Bio

Christine Bowen runs her own business and blogs about a variety of topics. Her favorite topic is about college students because she has a daughter in her second year of college at the moment.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, Money.com, India TV, News.com Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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