Monday, June 19, 2006

Iowa State University to Help Iowa Veterans Concerned about Identity Theft

Press Release: Iowa State University.

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University faculty and staff are stepping up to help Iowa veterans concerned about identity theft.

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science and coauthor of the book “Who is You? The Coming Epidemic of Identity Theft,” knew he had information that could help Iowa veterans learn about the theft of personal information and strategies to restore their personal identity if it were stolen.

Schmidt and his coauthor Michael McCoy taught courses spring semester through ISU Extension’s Continuing Education and Conference Services (CECS) unit. They knew the noncredit online short course had the information veterans concerned about identity theft would need.

“We are working on several tactics to get information out to Iowa’s veterans,” said Jack Payne, Vice Provost for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Continuing Education and Conference Services is working to make the book and short course content available to veterans. One copy of the book will be in each ISU Extension county office, each Iowa public library and each veteran’s hospital in Iowa by the week of June 5.”

CECS and the authors worked with the University Book Store on campus so the book could be sold at a discounted price. Books may be ordered by calling (800) 478-0048. The short course content will be available soon on CD or online.

A Department of Veterans Affairs staff member took information on a disk drive home to work on a project, without authorization. The data included names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for veterans. The disk drive was stolen May 3 from the staff member’s Maryland home.

Iowa has 276,000 veterans; the number of veterans who had information on the disc drive is uncertain.

Information about the ISU Extension effort will be on the Web at Or call: 1-866-540-4636


At 7:30 PM, Blogger Lois Hale said...

Kudos to Iowa State University for their effort to help Iowa veterans!!!

Here is another area of concern...

Spoon-Feeding Criminals

Counties across the USA are posting public records…available to anyone anywhere in the world!
According to the Property Records Industry Association, it is unknown exactly how many of the 3,600 county governments in the US are posting public documents.

Document images posted on county websites include:
-property tax records
-juvenile court records
-motor vehicle information
-probate law documents
-court files
-death certificates
-military discharges
-land records
-family court records
-dates of birth

You can have your personal information redacted (edited or revised) or expunged (eliminated)from the posted documents. So,if you don’t want your personal information posted on the Internet for the world to see, then check your county website and submit a written request to have your information expunged. Include book and page numbers where your information can be found in the public documents.

But wait! There’s no turning back for one county. Fort Bend County in Texas last year, sold every document ever filed with the county clerk’s office (around 20 million) to a Florida company for roughly $2,500. This was one company among many others (including firms in India, China, and the Philippines) that directly download records from county websites.

ComputerWorld reports that Orange County, Florida is currently inspecting about 30 million pages dating back to 1970. They are looking to redact social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and debit card numbers.

Is anyone’s identity really safe these days? Veteran's aren't the only ones at risk.

Posted by Lois Hale


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