There is a recent surge in online scammers and fraudsters attacking college students. The question is, how much does it really affect college students?
College students can be especially susceptible to credit card swindles when scammers provide fake applications or falsely represent themselves to gain access to your personal information.
Every day, swindling artists target millions of people in an attempt to steal money or confidential banking information with half of those people being college students. If college students do not watch out for where they are putting their information, they are putting themselves and others in danger.
It is important to learn how to spot illegal activity on the internet, and all around. Lots of phone calls occur on the daily, many students do not think twice and even just by answering the phone call, it is putting you in danger.
Recognize fraud by being alert for these warning signs which include missing bills or statements, phone calls, links to foreign websites and other unknown information in the media.
Unexpected charges and unfamiliar charges will show up on your credit card, checking, savings or another account if you are not aware about where your information is going.
Denied credit happens when you are unexpectedly denied credit or given unfavorable terms. This is a common denominator in college students when they casually online shop on websites with “cheap” or “desirable” items or clothing.
When entering credit card information online, be sure it is a trusted website. Credit information calls or collection agencies may attempt to collect money for unfamiliar purchases or services.
Lots of college students do not check their emails, which is another case of how fraudulent emails may be brought about.
After clicking on unknown links online, any website, person or company may have gained access to your personal email with just entering a password.
Clicking on the link may download malware onto your computer or mobile cellphone or lead you to a fraudulent website.
Fraudulent emails try to make you believe something bad will happen (for example, your account will be suspended) if you do not respond to the email and provide your account number or other confidential information.
Protect your confidential information.
As a rule of thumb, never include any information in an email that you would not write on a postcard.
It is critical to know that no bank will ever ask you to provide confidential information such as your account number, Social Security number, name, address, password, etc. in emails or text messages. Often times, college students believe that they are receiving
“free” or “discounted” products from websites and companies.
This is a growing issue on several college campuses as many students deal with student loan or debt issues.
When browsing the web, students ignore the fact that a certain link or text message may not come from a liable source. Many of these websites do not include .org, or .edu.
Fake e-mail messages are usually not personalized.
Fraudulent websites look like the real thing and can fool you if you do not know what to look for. There will always be pop-ups on your screen which students often ignore if they are looking for instant results online.
The pop-up windows will ask you to enter information such as your checking account number, cardholder name, credit card number, bank and routing number, expiration dates, Social Security number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
During this hard time of inflation, online scammers are also at work targeting college students who are not educated on this matter. Ensure you protect your personal information and watch out for possible websites that may lead to dangerous effects.
Kgotsofalo is a Business Management student, majoring in Entrepreneurship at Kirkwood. He’s from South Africa, and he aspires to be a civic entrepreneur. He enjoys listening to music and writing.