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Leaving for College is a big step in the entire family's life.  It's a big adjustment for all involved, and the last thing you want is to be worried about identity or financial fraud or theft!
While we can't go to each dorm room and stand guard, we can offer you these small tips and tricks to help protect your finances.
  1. Leave unnecessary documents/papers at home if you do not absolutely need them: Social Security Cards, Passports, checkbooks, etc.
  2. Do not loan your debit/credit card to anyone, or share your PINs/passwords.  
  3. Do you have ApplePay, SamsungPay, Google Wallet, Tap to Pay, etc stored on your cell phone and active? Lock it using a secure method, and watch for shoulder lookers. That easy to remember pattern or your 4 digit code is easy to see over your shoulder in line or at a crowded venue.
  4. Balance your bank and credit card accounts every month. You cannot catch fraud if you aren't aware it's happening. Keeping receipts may fill up your pocket, but make it much easier to match up purchases later on. 
  5. If you receive paper documents from your bank or credit card companies, make sure they are being mailed to a secure location - Your parents' home, a PO Box off campus, etc.
  6. Limit your financial footprint as much as possible - having multiple credit cards can make monitoring their activity difficult. By having one, or just a few, you can better inspect for fraudulent charges each month. 

Again, these are just some tips and tricks to help you prevent ID/financial fraud.  There are several identity guard services on the market to add another level of security. Several Credit Card companies also offer protection services and guarantees.  We cannot guarantee following these steps will prevent theft from occurring, but it should help you sleep in those wonderful steel mesh beds a little easier.

Posted 10:45 AM

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