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Manage be cautious

When Justin Barton was in college, he tried to buy a T-shirt online but his card was declined. His account was frozen because someone had stolen his credit card number and used it on an international purchase. Fortunately, his bank at the time detected the unusual

activity and shut his account down. He says his first call was to his parents and then to his bank. Students know identity theft occurs, but it’s one of those things that they think it won’t happen to them. Barton, Retention Initiatives Program Coordinator at Webster, says it is a huge issue that students need to know about. “It’s very important to be aware of identity theft, to be aware of the resources available for people if they become a victim,” says Barton. Deter, detect and defend are the three steps to avoid identity theft crimes. To deter from becoming a victim of identity theft, one must take certain precautions. Barton suggests shredding all important files that have account or

Social Security information on them. Never keep a Social Security card on person, and never give out that information unless absolutely necessary. Don’t click on unknown links or open unknown e-mails, and lock up personal information in a safe at home. There are some signs for detecting if a person’s identity has been stolen. If bills or statements are sent at times out of the ordinary, credit or debit cards are denied without reason or letters are sent about unknown purchases, then keep them, and check in with the bank. If a threat is detected, defend the account by putting a fraud alert on the account. Cancel all credit cards and contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the fraud.

“ Sit down and write out where the money is going. Every last penny. Until you do that, you’re not going to be able to see good and bad patterns.” - Sarah Tetley

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