While young adults head out to soak up the sun and fun, they tend to travel with little or no supervision over their financial accounts and identities. A recent Identity Fraud Survey Report found that adults between ages 18 and 24 are especially susceptible to identity theft. Those in that age group might not notice things such as a missing credit card, lost driver’s license or hijacked Social Security number for about 122 days, which is almost twice the average for all adults, 69 days.
I recommend teaching your kids about the causes and consequences of identity theft once they have a part-time job and driver’s license. This is usually the same time they’re sharing personal and financial information with a bank and an employer.
The Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft website offers some specific identity theft “don’ts” applicable to spring breakers.
•Don’t carry your Social Security card.
•Don’t hold receipts, bills and bank statements in your purse or backpack.
•Don’t respond to phishing, smishing or vishing. These are email, text message and voice mail attempts to trick you into giving up your account numbers and Social Security number. Always contact the financial institution directly, using the information on your card or their website.
•Don’t give or lend your driver’s license to anyone.
A short talk today can save your kids months of credit repair later.