A Message to EMU Faculty and Staff from the Department of Public Safety
Eastern Michigan University has been contacted by multiple employees who have been the victim of unemployment, social security and/or tax fraud. To date there is no indication any information was taken from the University’s internal systems. While we are not aware of the source or specific information being used to facilitate these crimes, we are looking into this matter further in an attempt to identify patterns that may be helpful to the investigation, which involves multiple police agencies.
Both the EMU Police and the Michigan State Police are aware of these events. They would like those who believe they are victims to provide as much information as possible, in order to further attempt to identify the source of the breach.
Some signs of potential fraud include but are not limited to:
- A notification letter is received from the Social Security Administration (SSA) of a potential fraudulent claim or online SSA account creation in your name.
- A tax return is filed in your name without your knowledge.
- A financial aid application (FAFSA) is submitted in your name without your knowledge.
- The Michigan Unemployment Agency notifies you or your employer of a claim filed in your name.
- An unknown account appears on your credit report.
- A debt collector is calling about a bill that isn’t yours.
Tips to Help Keep Your Personal Information Secure
- Keep your passwords private and use a separate password for each account.
- Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication everywhere it is available. All EMU employees are advised to sign up for Duo two-factor authentication.
- Be cautious when clicking on links or attachments contained in unsolicited emails.
- Use anti-virus, anti-malware and other security software to help protect your devices.
- Keep your software updated.
- Don’t overshare on social networking sites. Cybercriminals can use information shared online to trick victims into giving up more information, use it to guess passwords, and gain access to personal information, which can be utilized to access other accounts.
- Limit your use of public Wi-Fi networks. These networks may be less secure than a private network and should not be used for making online purchases or entering personal information.
- When making purchases online, confirm the site is secure by making sure the browser shows the site beginning with https: (vs. http:). HTTPS encrypts your data, making it harder for cybercriminals to gain access to your information.
- Safely dispose of personal information. This includes permanently deleting personal information from electronic devices, such as phones and computers, before getting rid of them.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, internet or mail unless you have initiated the contact.
- Monitor your credit score. Checking one of the three credit bureaus every four months will allow for continual monitoring without charge.
- Consider utilizing credit freezes that allow you to use existing credit but prevent new credit from being issued without your prior approval.
- Monitor your financial accounts frequently. The sooner you can identify a fraudulent charge on your credit card or bank account, the sooner it can be addressed.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield provides free AllClear Security Identity Repair and AllClear Pro Credit Monitoring to all employees that are enrolled in BCBS through EMU. Find out more.
It is highly recommended that victims visit the following web sites for more information on dealing with identity theft:
At EMU, we understand how important your personal information is and are dedicated to providing assistance. Human Resources, EMU Police, Information Technology and other offices continue to review this matter. Please direct any questions about the survey to IT Help Desk at 734.487.2120.