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Information for Potentially Affected Students

What actions should I take to protect my personal information?

FLDOE recommends that all potentially affected students place free fraud alerts on their credit files. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts.

FLDOE also recommends that all affected parties review their credit reports for suspicious activity.

How do I place a fraud alert on my credit file?

You can place a fraud alert by calling any one of the three major credit bureaus. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others will be notified to place fraud alerts. Following is contact information for the three major credit bureaus:

Where can I get a free credit report?

You can fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report.

Annualcreditreport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - every 12 months. According to the FTC, you are also entitled to a free report if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.

Following is information about how you can request your free credit report:

What should I do if I find suspicious activity on my credit reports?

If you find suspicious activity on your credit reports or have reason to believe your information is being misused, contact your local law enforcement office to file a police report. Get a copy of any police report that you file; many creditors will request the information it obtains to absolve you of any fraudulent debts.

You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or at (877) 438-4338. Your complaint will be added to FTC's Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, where it will be accessible to law enforcement officers for their investigations.

How can I tell if my information has been compromised?

According to the FTC, you may be able to tell if you information has been stolen if…
  • you see unexplained withdrawals from your bank account
  • you don't get your bills or other mail
  • merchants refuse your checks
  • debt collectors call you about debts that aren't yours
  • you find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report
  • medical providers bill you for services you didn't use
  • your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you've reached your benefits limit
  • the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies you that more than 1 tax return was filed in your name
  • you have income from an employer you don't work for
  • you get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account
  • you are arrested for a crime someone else allegedly committed in your name

What should I do if I become a victim of identity theft?

The FTC recommends that identity theft victims take four steps:
  1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports. You can place a fraud alert by calling any one of the three major credit bureaus:
  2. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can file a complaint with the FTC using the online complaint form at www.ftc.gov/idtheft; or call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or write Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
  4. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. When you file your report, bring a printed copy of your FTC ID Theft Complaint form, your cover letter (PDF), and your supporting documentation. The cover letter explains why a police report and an ID Theft Complaint are so important to victims.

What else can I do?

Important Contact Information - Who can I contact for additional information about identity theft?

To learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft, visit the FTC's Identity Theft site at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.