What to do If Your Personal Information is Breached

By BROOKE WELCH | bwelch@wfft.com

Published 02/27 2014 01:58PM

Updated 02/27 2014 02:12PM

Right before Christmas we reported on a major data breach with Target that resulted in millions of people having their private information put at risk for identity theft.  Recently, Indiana University released a statement that around 146,000 graduates and students associated with 7 of the University's campuses, may have had their names, addresses, and social security numbers exposed.

WFFT's Brooke Welch spoke with the Indiana State Police on what you can do if your personal information is breached.

7 different campuses around the Hoosier State are involved in this potential exposure investigation.  This latest possible exposure is a good reminder that all of us need to take seriously.  Keeping an eye on our personal information because if it's compromised, the damage can last for years.

"To be honest, I couldn't believe it."

Anthony Cronin had no idea his identity was stolen until detectives showed up at his workplace.

"A guy in Washington DC lived as me for 8 1/2 years. He was married 3 times, he took a whole bunch of student loans out in my name, bank accounts in my name, and it's really messed me over pretty bad."

Sergeant Ron Galaviz says identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the 21st century.

"Identity theft knows no gender, no religious, no socioeconomic barrier.  If you draw a breath you stand the risk of having your identity taken."

While identity theft can be unavoidable, Sergeant Ron Galaviz has some ways you can protect yourself if you think your information might be compromised.

1.) Call the police and file a police report
2.) Contact your bank and credit cards
3.) Notify the three major credit bureaus
4.) Put a freeze on your credit report

You can also go to the Indiana Attorney General webpage for an identity theft tool kit.

"It can be life altering or a life changing event, if steps are not taken in a timely manner."

Unfortunately Anthony knows that first hand.  Anthony's perpetrator was only sentenced to 6 months in jail for something that Anthony is still dealing with today.

"I found out 4 years ago, and it's still going on to this day."

The good news in this story, officials don't believe the data was hacked into or used maliciously and of the 8 IU campuses, IPFW was the only one where information was not potentially exposed. 

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