Frequently asked Questions
about UT Security Breach
- How do I know if my information has been accessed?
- What information was compromised?
- Am I the victim of Identity Theft?
- What should I do to protect my identity?
- How do I know if I am a victim of identity theft?
- What should I do if I find I am the victim of identity theft?
- What other resources are available to me?
How do I know if my information has been accessed?
The security breach involved records of alumni, faculty, staff and current and prospective students of the McCombs School of Business as well as corporate recruiters. The University of Texas has established a website, email address, and toll free telephone number for questions and tips:
What information was compromised?
The University of Texas has stated that the information obtained included some social security numbers, and possibly other biographical data of alumni, faculty, staff and current and prospective students of the McCombs School of Business as well as corporate recruiters.
Am I the victim of Identity Theft?
At this time, it is unclear what the information obtained will be used for – just because there has been a security breach does not mean that you will become the victim of identity theft. However there are precautions that you can take to protect yourself - see the response to the next question for additional information.
What should I do to protect my identity?
There are several options you can take now to minimize the risk of becoming an identity theft victim:
Notify the credit bureaus and establish a fraud alert. Immediately call the fraud department of one of the three credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. When you request a fraud alert from one bureau, it will notify the other two for you. Your credit file will be flagged with a statement that says you may be a victim of fraud and that creditors should phone you before extending credit.
Equifax fraud department: (888) 766-0008
Experian fraud department: (888) EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
Trans Union fraud department (800) 680-7289
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you can place an initial fraud alert for only 90 days. You may cancel the fraud alerts at any time.
Order your credit reports. When you establish the fraud alert, you will receive a follow-up letter from each credit bureau. Each letter explains how you can order a free copy of your credit report from that credit bureau. We suggest that you take advantage of this offer and order your credit reports soon. If you are a victim of identity theft, you will see evidence of it on your credit report.
Moreover, consumers are also entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at the website www.annualcreditreport.com, whether or not they are the victim of identity theft.
Examine your credit reports carefully. When you receive your credit reports, look for signs of fraud such as credit accounts that are not yours. Check if there are numerous inquiries on your credit report. If a thief is attempting to open up several accounts, an inquiry will be listed on your credit report for each of those attempts. Also, check that your SSN, address(es), phone number(s), and employment information are correct.
Continue to monitor your credit reports. Be aware that these measures may not entirely stop new fraudulent accounts from being opened by an imposter. Credit issuers do not always pay attention to fraud alerts, even though federal law now requires it. Once you have received the first free copy of your credit report, follow up in a few months and order another.
Consider a security freeze. Texas law enables individuals to place a security freeze on their credit reports if they have filed an identity theft criminal complaint with law enforcement.
A security freeze is stronger than a fraud alert because it prevents anyone from accessing your credit file until and unless you authorize the credit bureaus to release your report. (Please note that it does not affect existing accounts and includes other exceptions). Be aware that this might be inconvenient if you will be applying for new credit, an apartment, or employment involving a background check, since you will have to lift the freeze on your credit file. You can write to request that it be lifted for a certain period of time, or for a specific creditor.
How do I know if I am a victim of identity theft?
Typically, people find out they are victims when they receive collection notices for items or accounts they have never purchased or opened. Check your credit report for suspicious activity.
What should I do if I find I am the victim of identity theft?
If your credit report indicates you are a victim of identity theft, you will want to immediately file a police report. It is very important to do as you will use the report as proof that you are a victim of identity theft.
Report fraudulent accounts and erroneous information in writing to the credit bureaus and the credit issuers following the instructions provided with the credit reports. You will more than likely be asked for a copy of your police report. A telephone call will not protect your rights under the law.
In all communications with the credit bureaus, you will want to refer to the unique identification number assigned to your credit report and mail items certified, with return receipt requested. Be sure to save all credit reports as part of your fraud documentation.
You may also want to visit the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft web site, www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/, for further information.
What other resources are available to me?
Resources available include:
Order your free credit report:
Whether or not you are a victim of identity theft, take advantage of your free annual credit reports, now a requirement of federal law. We recommend ordering by telephone, rather than online.
Phone: (877) 322-8228
For more information about free credit reports and how to contact the three credit bureaus, read the FTC's guide www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Read its guide, Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft, www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/idtheft.htm
Online information and complaint form: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
FTC uniform id theft affidavit form: www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/affidavit.pdf
Identity Theft Hotline: (877) IDTHEFT (877-438-4338)