Monday, August 07, 2006

VA did it again. More Vets information missing!!!

Hat tip to CBS News

CBS News reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has done it again: Now 38,000 Vets' Data is Missing. According to CBS News, apparently as many as 38,000 Pennsylvania veterans may be at risk of identity theft. A VA subcontractor lost a desktop computer containing the veterans' sensitive personal data.

VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said that Unisys Corp., a subcontractor hired to assist in insurance collections for VA medical centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, reported the missing computer last Thursday. It is not yet known what happened to the computer.

For the rest of the story, please visit CBS News

Several months ago, The Bosun Locker discussed a growing national problem of identity theft and some steps the consumer may want to consider. Anyone who suspects that he or she may be at risk for identity theft should review all federal regulations to protect ones credit.

The loss of personal information brings to the forefront a growing national problem of identity theft and some steps the consumer may want to consider.

Fortunately, existing laws indicate that YOU (the consumer or victim of identity theft) has the right to ask that nationwide consumer reporting agencies place “fraud alerts” in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft.

Of course there is a charge for that protection and depending on who looses the information and if the person or organization that looses the information will step up to the plate and be responsible, you may have to pay for the fraud alert service.

A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. Of course, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit, a small price to pay for the damage it will cause if the information falls into the wrong hands. Individually, one may place a fraud alert in ones file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. As soon as that agency processes the fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in the consumer's file.

An initial fraud alert will stay in your file for at least 90 days. You may file an extended alert which will stay in your file for one year or seven years. To place the 90 day, one year, or seven year alert, the 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.

The 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 http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft

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