(5/23/11) — Rose Gaidos, Webster Bank's director of bank operations and security, spoke today to 700 high school students at Junior Achievement (JA) of Southwest New England’s annual Youth Financial Education Conference in New Britain, Conn., about identity theft and what they can do to prevent it.
The conference was held at Central Connecticut State University and was one of several JA events designed to educate students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through hands-on programs.
In her presentation, Gaidos provided practical solutions on how to guard against identity theft as well as statistics about identity theft and its impact on young adults. Specifically, she noted that young adults lead the way in the number of reports. In 2010, 24 percent of identity theft complaints were from consumers between the ages of 20 and 29, and 8 percent were under age 19. Also, there has been an increase in "friendly fraud," or fraud perpetuated by people known to the victim, including relatives and roommates.
"Innovations in financial products, technology, and delivery channels, as well as increasing sophistication of fraudsters and scams have left young people inherently vulnerable to identity theft,” Gaidos said. “Junior Achievement has long made it part of their mission to educate young people about financial literacy, so their inclusion of identity theft prevention in this conference was a perfect fit.