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ID THEFT AT SCHOOL, 08/14/13          

One way to prevent ID theft is for schools to limit the sensitive information they get from students.  That means not collecting Social Security numbers.   Students Share schedules and they walk to class on the first day of school.  Students' Social Security numbers can be vulnerable and don't necessarily need to be given to schools, experts say.

Classes, books and dirty looks aren't the only potential problems students face when heading back to school in the flurry of gettig kids enrolled fillng out forms and moving into dorms, it's easy for a student's Social Securty number to fall into the wrong hands. Armed with a child's Social Security number, identitity thieves can open new lines of credit and bank accounts, forge checks and blame other crimes they've committed on your little one, reports the National Science Foundation.

If it sounds farftched, it's anythig but.   The Federal Trade Commission reports that approximately 6 percent of reported identity theft cases - more than 16,000 each year - are for victims under age 20.  A 2011 study by ID Analytics found the number for minors to be much higher, at 140,000 victims annually.

One way to prevent theft from occurring is for school districts to limit the amount of sensitive information they ask for, says Steven Toporoff, an attorney with the FTC's Privacy and Identity Protection division.  "In many instances, schools do not need Social Security numbers for students," he told MSN News, adding that parents can frequently opt out of providing that information.  "It's certainly not required by federal law and in many states- it's not required by state law."