MARRIOTT-SLATERVILLE -- Students in Ann Tippets' health class slowly sat down as Zions Bank Vice President Cary Coombs read a list of how much was too much to reveal on social media sites.
"Do you think there are people out there gathering that information?" Coombs asked students from Walquist Junior High on Friday. Many shook their heads up and down and said they would be setting some tighter privacy settings.
Coombs went over many details with the students regarding identity theft and explained some basic details about credit scores and why they are important. His presentation was part of "National Get Smart About Credit Day," which is Oct. 17.
Coombs will visit other high schools and junior highs this month to talk about credit, saving and identity theft.
"They need to learn what is out there in the world," Coombs said after the class.
He has noticed that many kids know a lot based on their parents' experience, but that teens don't always want to listen to parents' advice.
"If they can get it from another adult and we can reiterate, maybe they will get something and understand," Coombs said.
Some students were quite surprised as Coombs explained different case scenarios of how identity can be stolen. Some students revealed some of their own experiences.
One student talked about trying to be scammed into giving information to a
cellphone caller, while another talked about experiences with their parents and being scammed.
Coombs explained the difference between using a debit card and a credit card. He encouraged students to tell their parents there is more security in using a credit card than a debit card. He is also warned the students about giving any passwords out and keeping passwords hidden in a secure spot.
Thirteen-year-old Dominique Talamantes enjoyed the presentation and said some of the information hit close to home. She talked about how her family was robbed as a result of giving too much information to some supposed friends.
"We learned how to keep our information safe," she said. "You never know when it's going to happen, anytime to anyone. It's good for us to get an education," Talamantes said.
Students Kristen Haws and Carlee Kelso said they learned a lot from Coombs' presentation.
"It's cool he told us how it happens," Haws said. "And even better that he told us how to stop it," Kelso added.
Tippets heard about the presentations from her principal and thought it would be a good lesson for her students.
"This is a health class, but I want them to learn how to manage their mental and emotional health," Tippets said.
Managing finances and staying safe from identify theft is a big factor of good mental and emotional health, she said.