Protecting Your Credit
An initial alert (Initial Security Alert) stays in your file for at least 90 days. An extended alert (Extended Fraud Victim Alert) stays in your file for seven years. To place either of these alerts, a consumer reporting agency will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security number. If you ask for an extended alert, you will have to provide an identity theft report. An identity theft report includes a copy of a report you have filed with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, and additional information a consumer reporting agency may require you to submit. For more detailed information about the identity theft report, visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Frequently Asked Questions
What steps can I take to protect my credit?
Please visit our EKU webpage at ecert.eku.edu that will provide detailed information regarding how to file a fraud alert, put a security freeze on your credit, and have a credit report run.
What if I don't know how to file a fraud alert or put a security freeze or run a credit report? Who will help me?
Of course we will. We would first suggest that you try it yourself; it is actually easy to do. Just go to the website, pick one of the three credit bureaus, and go from there. Take you about 10 minutes to complete a credit report application which will show you if there is any suspicious activity on your account.
If you are not comfortable trying to access the credit bureaus without assistance, please call the designated phone number at 859-622-7777 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide us your name and contact information and we will have someone walk you through it. It might take a little while for them to contact you, but, we will help you.
What will EKU do to help mitigate the cost and inconvenience to me?
If there is evidence that an identity theft occurred as a result of this data exposure, the University will further assist you in providing additional monitoring services.
Should I contact the police?
You should not try to file a report with the police just on the basis of EKU's notification of data exposure. A report to them is only appropriate if you are actually experiencing identity theft. The law enforcement agencies are asking that you contact them only if a bank or a credit bureau has notified you of fraudulent activity. Should this be the case, the EKU Police would be the appropriate agency to be contacted. You should go to the EKU Police only if you have received notice of fraudulent activity that points to identity theft. You do not need to report to any law enforcement agency that you received a notification of data exposure from EKU.
What if something bad happens as a result of this now or a year down the road?
The experts who deal with identity theft in the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky have informed EKU that the persons who steal identities typically act within 24 to 48 hours of the theft. It is their opinion that, if the identity theft has not occurred by this time, there is little likelihood of it occurring.
Placing a Fraud Alert
By placing a fraud alert on your consumer credit file, you let creditors know to watch for unusual or suspicious activity in any of your accounts, such as someone trying to open a credit card account in your name.
To place a fraud alert, call one of the following three major credit reporting agencies. Your phone call will take you to an automated phone system. Be sure to listen carefully to the selections and indicate that you are at risk for credit fraud.
You need only contact one of these agencies, which will automatically forward the fraud alert to the other two.
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Credit Fraud Center
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Soon after you place a fraud alert, you will receive confirmation letters from all three credit reporting agencies, with instructions on how to order free credit reports. If you find anything that looks wrong or suspicious or that you don't understand in a credit report, call the credit agency at the telephone number listed on the credit report. You may also wish to call your local police or sheriff's office to file a report of identity theft.
Placing a Security Freeze
A security freeze means that your credit file cannot be shared with potential creditors. If your credit files are frozen, even someone who has your name and Social Security number would probably not be able to get credit in your name. In Kentucky, a security freeze is free to a victim who has a police report of identity theft. In Kentucky, there is a $10 charge for a security freeze for a non-victim.