University administrators are advising faculty and staff to be on the lookout for potential identity fraud as tax season gets underway.
2017 was a record year for corporate data breaches that exposed the personal and financial information of millions of people. And while universities can be targets for criminals, no such data breaches have been detected at U-M.
But that doesn’t mean faculty and staff have not been affected by the growing problem of data security and identity theft.
University Human Resources has seen a spike in fraudulent unemployment claims in recent weeks. The department is taking steps to deny inappropriate claims and notify affected employees with guidance to address the fraudulent claims and further protect their identities.
Tax season is also a time to closely monitor credit and be wary of fraudulent tax return filings.
Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of identity theft should immediately take the following steps:
• Alert the Michigan Department of Treasury by calling 517-636-4486 or by email at Treasury-ReportIDTheft@michigan.gov, or by mail at Identify Theft Unit, Income Tax Division, P.O. Box 30477, Lansing, MI, 48909.
• Freeze credit report files with all three credit bureaus to prevent accounts being opened in your name. Those credit bureaus and their phone numbers are: Equifax, 800-525-6285; Experian, 888-397-3742; and TransUnion, 800-680-7289.
• File a report with the local police department.