By Senior Officer Larry Jacobs, Crime Prevention Division, SSPD

Young adults are big targets for identity theft.

A study by Javelin Strategy & Research reveals that the No. 1 targets for identity theft are people ages 18 to 24, who tend to put details of their life on the Internet without taking proper safeguards.

People this age also frequently move and change jobs, which makes tracking fraud more difficult.

It usually takes an older person a little over a month to figure out their identity is stolen. People 18 to 24 years old may go more than four months before they discover it.

Last year, there were more than 11 million victims of identity theft. Common frauds include “phishing” scams, which trick people into giving up passwords or other personal data, and programs that secretly log a person’s keystrokes. People tend to lose around $5,000 from their personal accounts when scammers utilize key-logging programs.

So if you’re 18 to 24, know that you are a target.

Be careful about what you post on social networking sites like Facebook.

If you bank online, monitor your accounts often and be sure to balance your checkbook at least once a month. After 60 days, you lose your right to reclaim any money you’ve lost.

Adapted from Clark Howard.