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Police Chief Warns Of Dangers Of Identity Theft For New College Students

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The police chief of a local community college was advising parents of children headed off to college for the first time to have some conversations about safety first.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, while college-age kids face several potential dangers on campus, Moraine Valley Community College Police Chief Patrick O’Connor said the most common crime on their Palos Hills campus might surprise you.

“Be aware of identity theft. We see that continually on local campuses,” O’Connor said.

WBBM 780’s Regine Schlesinger

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The chief said students, away from home and on their own for the first time, often are too trusting and casual with their financial information.

“At house parties, they very well may give their PIN on their debit cards to people to buy pizzas or beer, and one of the things you really recognize is they feel a false sense of security with people they really don’t know that well,” he said.

O’Connor said lonely freshmen often are so eager to make friends, they aren’t as careful as they should be. That can lead to many dangers, including identity theft and date rape.

“People tend to reach out for friendships that aren’t there yet. I tell kids ‘Be cautious in developing friendships. Don’t reach out to people that you really don’t know,’” he said.