/ Money

Students open to fraud from unopened statements

Girl at laptop with bank card

Students of Britain – when was the last time you checked your bank statement? Best do it soon, or fraud could be adding a whole lot more to your already bursting graduate debt.

Half of the country’s students don’t bother to check their bank statements regularly, according to a study by studentbean.com and YouGov. Perhaps it’s just too depressing to see your balance?

A similar amount admitted they didn’t dispose of their statements securely – by shredding them for example.

Of course, if you don’t want to be left with a bag full of shredded hamster bedding, you can also check your statements online. All in an effort to make sure a fraudster hasn’t been nicking your rent (or drinking) money.

I’m not sure how often I checked my bank statement when I was a student, but I’d like to think it was pretty regularily. Though this was mainly because I was keeping a close eye on how far I’d fallen into my (thankfully) hefty overdraft. Luckily for me I wasn’t struck by fraud or identity theft, even despite losing my wallet in the middle of Nottingham (returned three days later).

Even though a whole host of students aren’t checking their bank statements, the study also found that 80% of students are wary about providing personal information online. Only 7% said they’d be happy to pass personal details over the internet – a stat I find hard to believe, considering most of us flaunt them on Facebook.

Since around 1.8 million people had their identities stolen in the UK last year, at a cost of almost £3bn, it’s not only students who should be wary. Keep an eye on your statements, take care of your personal info, don’t give out your passwords and don’t respond to unsolicited emails. Oh and don’t bother with identity theft insurance. It’s pointless.

Sophie Gilbert says:
27 October 2010

I think this is related to the teaching kids basic finance convo. Maybe what should be part of basic finance is, keep all your receipts and cashline withdrawal statements and check them against your bank statements and credit card bills. It takes much less long than it sounds and it can help prevent fraud, or simply pick up on genuine mistakes and help rectify them, as has happened to me before.