Student Identity Theft

What is it and how can you avoid it?

Identity theft is becoming increasingly common and can result in significant damage to your personal and financial credibility and reputation. This includes damage to financial credit history, difficulty in obtaining student educational or other loans, and poor credit that could impact future job opportunities. Once identity theft has occurred, the victim can spend an extensive amount of time correcting information problems with credit reporting agencies, creditors, banks and credit unions and other impacted agencies.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has taken steps to protect students from identity theft and will never request any financial account information from a student. Many years ago CSAC replaced Social Security Numbers (SSN) with a unique student identification number called the CSAC ID as a means of identifying, tracking and sharing student information for its various financial aid programs. All mailed student correspondence and other communications to students contains this unique student identifier and not the student’s SSN. In addition, CSAC uses strong data encryption to protect the student information that is transmitted electronically between institutions and CSAC.

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, CSAC will not release any Cal Grant program participant’s information to third parties without prior written consent. For security purposes and to protect the privacy of the student, the student must contact CSAC directly for information on how to complete a Third Party Release Form (G-25), which will authorize a third party to act on their behalf.

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