Tax Advisory Information

March 25, 2014

Faculty and Staff:

Below are updates related to the identity theft issue. Supervisors and department heads, please share this information with employees who may not utilize a computer on a regular basis.

Iowa Taxes. The university provided a list of all current employees’ personal information to the Iowa Department of Revenue. Employee returns will have special validation to help prevent fraudulent filings. While there is no need to contact the Iowa Department of Revenue as a result of the university providing them employee information, if you wish to contact the fraud department, Scott Lockwood at 515-281-5986 can assist you.

Social Security. There are a couple options victims of identity theft may want to consider with the Social Security Administration. An online account may be created to manage social security benefits and monitor statements. Go to www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ or visit your local social security office. As an alternative, you can block electronic access by anyone, including yourself, at secure.ssa.gov/acu/IPS_INTR/blockaccess.

Iowa Attorney General. The Iowa Office of the Attorney General (IA-OAG) offers resources for identity theft at www.state.ia.us/government/ag/consumer_brochures/Identity_Theft.html.

Credit freeze. After fraudulent federal tax filings, the EAP consultant with expertise on identity theft indicated fraudulent loans, credit cards or other accounts could be the next wave of concern. As a reminder, freezing credit reports can protect your financial security and deter fraudulent accounts from being opened under your name. Information on how to freeze credit reports is available on the UNI website, left-hand side under Additional Information. Information from IA-OAG is available at www.state.ia.us/government/ag/images/pdfs/Credit_Security_Freeze_10_7_2013.pdf.

Passwords.  Good security practices include changing online passwords on a regular basis, both at work and at home. Information Technology Services provides guidance on strong passwords at uni.edu/its/support/article/719.

Insurance. Several people have asked about the identity theft insurance associated with the credit monitoring service. A summary of benefits is available at http://www.protectmyid.com/million-dollar-insurance. The specific policy is available on the UNI Web page, where you may want to pay specific attention to section II "Duties in the Event of Fraud Guard Event or Loss," specifically the steps and time frames needed to utilize the benefits. Questions regarding this insurance should be directed to the Experian customer care team at 1-877-371-7902.

FAFSA.  If you have had issues filing your tax return and have a college-aged student, estimated taxes can be used to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If there are additional questions, visit with the financial aid office of the institution your child will be attending.

There is an ongoing two-track investigative approach being used to investigate the matter. The university continues the operational investigation with multiple departments and the law enforcement investigation continues with multiple state and federal agencies. The university will disseminate information as appropriate and as allowed by investigating agencies. If you have specific questions, please call the UNI information line at 273-5700. Information is also available on the website at www.uni.edu/tax-advisory.

Sincerely,

Michael Hager
Vice President for Administration and Financial Services