The University of Maryland continues to work diligently to investigate the cause of the data breach, safeguard against future threats, and provide accurate updates to those affected as soon as possible.
Please review the actions below, which outline steps you can take to protect yourself. Additional updates from the University are forthcoming. In the meantime, please remember to contact Experian beginning Tuesday, 2/25/2014, at 1-866-274-3891 to verify and enroll in credit protection services. Experian’s Customer Care Center is open M-F 9AM-9PM (EST), and on Saturday 11AM-8PM (EST).
ACTIONS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF IDENTITY THEFT
- PLACE A 90-DAY FRAUD ALERT ON YOUR CREDIT FILE
—An initial 90 day security alert indicates to anyone requesting your credit file that you suspect you are a victim of fraud. When you or someone else attempts to open a credit account in your name, increase the credit limit on an existing account, or obtain a new card on an existing account, the lender should takes steps to verify that you have authorized the request. If the creditor cannot verify this, the request should not be satisfied. You may contact one of the credit reporting companies above for assistance.
- PLACE A SECURITY FREEZE ON YOUR CREDIT FILE
—If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, a security freeze might be right for you. Placing a freeze on your credit report will prevent lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit. With a Security Freeze in place, you will be required to take special steps when you wish to apply for any type of credit. This process is also completed through each of the credit reporting companies.
- ORDER YOUR FREE ANNUAL CREDIT REPORTS
—Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize. Verify all information is correct. If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.
- MANAGE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
—Take steps such as: carrying only essential documents with you; being aware of whom you are sharing your personal information with and shredding receipts, statements, and other sensitive information.
- USE TOOLS FROM CREDIT PROVIDERS
—Carefully review your credit reports and bank, credit card and other account statements. Be proactive and create alerts on credit cards and bank accounts to notify you of activity. If you discover unauthorized or suspicious activity on your credit report or by any other means, file an identity theft report with your local police and contact a credit reporting company.
- OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT AND WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
—Visit www.experian.com/credit-advice/topic-fraud-and-identity-theft.html for general information regarding protecting your identity.
—The Federal Trade Commission has an identity theft hotline: 877-438-4338; TTY: 1-866-653-4261. They also provide information on-line at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler recently advised all consumers to take some basic steps that could protect their information from being misused, now or in the future. Review the tips here: www.oag.state.md.us/Press/2014/022014.html
Last updated: February 27, 2014