- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Some employees at the University of Northern Iowa say they’re victims of identity theft, following a data breach at the school that remains under investigation.

Affected employees and others gathered Tuesday at a public forum to discuss the issue, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1futyyR ). UNI President Bill Ruud opened the event with an apology.

“I will take this opportunity to say I’m sorry. I want to apologize for all the hoops we’re putting you through. I wish there was more we could have done on the front end of it,” he said. “The university is not happy about having its employees’ information being shared without permission.”

Many employees reported incidents of fraud after filing tax returns earlier this year. UNI police have received more than 145 reports of fraud since Feb. 5, according to their crime log.

Experts on computer science, tax fraud investigation and information technology served as a panel at the forum to answer questions.

“We don’t know where this data was compromised,” said Paul Gray, a panelist and associate professor of computer science at UNI. “There are very many places inside and outside of UNI this data is housed.”

Some at the forum shared stories of white collar crimes they’re dealing with, including people taking out a car loan in their name, or others fraudulently filing their taxes. In at least one case, the culprit or culprits used personal information like a Social Security number and date of birth.

“How long does this go on before we get any sense of closure?” asked Mary Connerley at the forum. She is a professor and head of the department of management.

Michael Hager, vice president of administration and financial affairs, said all employees should assume they have been affected and take necessary steps to secure their identity. Free credit monitoring has been offered.


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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