Identity Theft Prevention Program
Effective beginning October 31, 2009. Revised: June 2021
The University of Alaska (“University”) developed this Identity Theft Prevention Program (“Program”) pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Red Flags Rule, which implements Section 114 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. This program was developed with oversight and approval by the chief finance officer and the Board of Regents. After consideration of the size and complexity of the University’s operations and account systems, and the nature and scope of the University’s activities, the chief finance officer and the University of Alaska Board of Regents determined that this program was appropriate for the University, and approved this Program on June 5, 2009.
Definitions and Program
Red Flags Rule Definitions Used in this Program
- Identity Theft – A fraud committed or attempted using the Identifying Information of another person without authority.
- Red Flag – A pattern, practice, or specific activity that indicates the possible existence of identity theft.
- Covered Account – A consumer account or payment plan used mostly for personal, family, or household purposes, and that involves multiple payments or transactions. A Covered Account is also an account for which there is a foreseeable risk of identity theft.
- Program Administrator – The individual designated with primary responsibility for oversight of the program. See Section "Program Administration: Oversight" below.
- Identifying Information – Any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person, including: name, address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, government issued driver’s license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, student/employee identification number, personal computer’s internet protocol address, or routing code.
- Customer – Any individual for whom the university maintains a Covered Account.
- Service Provider – Any entity that receives, maintains, processes, or otherwise is permitted access to customer information through its provision of services directly to the University of Alaska (e.g. TMS or Touchnet).
Fulfilling Requirement of the Red Flags Rule
Under the Red Flags Rule, the University is required to establish an “Identity Theft Prevention Program” tailored to its size, complexity and the nature of its operation. Each program must contain reasonable procedures to:
- Identify relevant Red Flags for new and existing Covered Accounts and incorporate those Red Flags into the program.
- Detect Red Flags that have been incorporated into the program.
- Respond appropriately to any Red Flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft.
- Ensure the program is updated periodically to reflect changes in risks to Customers or to the safety and soundness of the Customer from identity theft.
Identification of Red Flags
In order to identify relevant Red Flags, the University considers the types of accounts that it offers and maintains, methods it provides to open its accounts, methods it provides to access its accounts, and its previous experiences with identity theft. The University identifies the following Red Flags in each of the listed categories:
Notifications and Warnings from Credit Reporting Agencies
- Report of fraud accompanying a credit report.
- Notice or report from a credit agency of a credit freeze on an applicant.
- Notice or report from a credit agency of an active duty alert for an applicant.
- Receipt of a notice of address discrepancy in response to a credit report request.
- Indication from a credit report of activity that is markedly inconsistent with an applicant’s usual pattern or activity.
- Identification document or card that is obviously forged, altered or inauthentic
- Identification document or card on which a person’s photograph or physical description is not consistent with the person presenting the document
- Other document with information that conflicts with existing Customer information
- Application for service that exhibits signs of having been altered or forged.
Suspicious Personal Identifying Information
- Identifying Information presented that is inconsistent with other information the Customer provides (example: inconsistent birth dates.)
- Identifying Information presented that is inconsistent with other sources of information (for instance, an address not matching an address on a loan application.)
- Identifying Information presented that is the same as information shown on other applications that were found to be fraudulent.
- Identifying Information presented that is consistent with fraudulent activity (such as an invalid phone number or fictitious billing address.)
- Social security number presented that is the same as one given by another Customer.
- An address or phone number presented that is the same as that of another person.
- A person fails to provide complete personal Identifying Information on an application when reminded to do so.
- A person’s Identifying Information is not consistent with the information that is on file for the Customer.
Suspicious Covered Account Activity or Unusual Use of Account
- Change of address for an account followed by a request to change the Customer’s name
- Payments stop on an otherwise consistently up-to-date account
- Account used in a way that is markedly inconsistent with prior use
- Mail sent to the Customer is repeatedly returned as undeliverable
- Notice to the University that a Customer is not receiving mail sent by the University
- Notice to the University that an account has unauthorized activity
- Breach in the University’s computer system security
- Unauthorized access to or use of Customer account information.
Alerts from Others
Notice to the University from a Customer, identity theft victim, law enforcement or other person that the University has opened or is maintaining a fraudulent account for a person engaged in identity theft.
Detecting Red Flags
In order to detect any of the Red Flags identified above associated with the enrollment of a Customer, University personnel will take the following steps to obtain and verify the identity of the person opening the account:
- Require certain Identifying Information such as name, date of birth, academic records, home address or other identification
- Verify the Customer’s identity at time of issuance of student/employee identification card (review of driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification).
In order to detect any of the Red Flags identified above for an existing Covered Account, University personnel will take the following steps to monitor transactions on an account:
- Verify the identification of Customers if they request information (in person, via telephone, via facsimile, via email.)
- Verify the validity of requests to change billing addresses by mail or email and provide the Customer a reasonable means of promptly reporting incorrect billing address changes.
- Verify changes in banking information given for billing and payment purposes.
Consumer (“Credit”) Report Requests
In order to detect any of the Red Flags identified above for circumstances in which a credit or background report is sought, University personnel will take the following steps to assist in identifying address discrepancies:
- Require written verification from any applicant that the address provided by the applicant is accurate at the time the request for the credit report is made to the consumer reporting agency
- In the event that notice of an address discrepancy is received, verify that the credit report pertains to the applicant for whom the requested report was made and report to the consumer reporting agency as address for the applicant that the University has reasonably confirmed is accurate.
Preventing and Mitigating Identity Theft
In the event University personnel detect any identified Red Flags, such personnel shall take one or more of the following steps, depending on the degree of risk posed by the Red Flag:
Prevent and Mitigate
- Notify Program Administrator
- Continue to monitor a Covered Account for evidence of identity theft
- Contact the Customer or applicant (for which a credit report was run)
- Change any passwords or other security devices that permit access to Covered Accounts
- Not open a new Covered Account
- Provide the Customer with a new student/employee identification number
- File or assist in filing a Incident Activities Report (“IAR”)
- Determine whether response is warranted under the particular circumstances.
Protect Customer Identifying Information
In order to further prevent the likelihood of identity theft occurring with respect to Covered Accounts, the University/Agency will take the following steps with respect to its internal operating procedures to protect Customer Identifying Information:
- Ensure that its website is secure or provide clear notice that the website is not secure
- Ensure complete and secure destruction of paper documents and computer files containing Customer account information when a decision has been made to no longer maintain such information
- Ensure that office computers with access to Covered Account information are password protected
- Avoid use of social security numbers
- Ensure computer virus protection is up to date
- Require and keep only the Customer information that is necessary for University/Agency purposes.
Responding to Red Flags
Once potentially fraudulent activity is detected, an employee should act quickly. Steps normally include:
- Notify the Campus Program Administrator immediately.
- Gather all related documentation and write a description of the situation. Present this information to the Program Administrator.
- The Campus Program Administrator will complete additional authentication to determine whether the attempted transaction was fraudulent or authentic.
- If the transaction is determined to be fraudulent, appropriate action must be taken
under direction from the Program Administrator These actions may include:
- Canceling the transaction
- Notifying and cooperating with appropriate law enforcement.
- If there is any potential for claim(s) to be filed by injured party(ies), notifying the System Office of Risk Services.
- Notifying the General Counsel office to determine the extent of liability, if any, of the University.
- Notifying the actual Customer that fraud has been attempted.
Responsibility for developing, implementing and updating this program lies with an Identity Theft Committee (“Committee”) for the University. The committee is headed by a Program Administrator who will be the president of the University or his or her appointee. Two or more other individuals appointed by the president of the University or the Program Administrator comprise the remainder of the committee membership. The Program Administrator with the committee will be responsible for 8 ensuring appropriate training of University staff on the program, for reviewing any staff reports regarding the detection of Red Flags and the steps for preventing and mitigating identity theft, determining which steps of prevention and mitigation should be taken in particular circumstances and considering periodic changes to the program. The Board of Regents delegates to the president or the president’s designee authority to amend this policy.
Staff Training and Reports
University staff responsible for implementing the program shall be trained either by or under the direction of the Program Administrator in the detection of Red Flags and the responsive steps to be taken when a Red Flag is detected. University staff shall be trained, as necessary, to effectively implement the program. University employees are expected to notify the Program Administrator once they become aware of an incident of identity theft or of the University’s failure to comply with this program. At least annually or as otherwise requested by the Program Administrator, University staff responsible for development, implementation, and administration of the program shall report to the Program Administrator on compliance with this program. The report should address such issues as effectiveness of the procedures in addressing the risk of identity theft in connection with opening and maintenance of Covered Accounts, service provider arrangements, significant incidents involving identity theft and management’s response, and recommendations for changes to the program.
Service Provider Arrangements
In the event the University engages a service provider to perform an activity in connection with one or more Covered Accounts, the University will take the following steps to ensure the service provider performs its activity in accordance with reasonable procedures designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate the risk of identity theft.
- Require, by contract, that service providers have such policies and procedures in place which comply with the FTC Red Flags Rule
- Require, by contract, that service providers review the University program and report any Red Flags to the Program Administrator or the University employee with primary oversight of the service provider relationship.
Non-disclosure of Specific Practices
For the effectiveness of this identity theft prevention program, knowledge about specific Red Flag identification, detection, mitigation and prevention practices may need to be limited to the committee who developed this program and to those employees with a need to know them. Any documents that may have been produced or are produced in order to develop or implement this program that list or describe such specific practices and the information those documents contain are considered “confidential” and should not be shared with other employees or the public, except as required by law. The Program Administrator shall inform the committee and those employees with a need to know the information which documents or specific practices should be maintained in a confidential manner.
The Committee will periodically review and propose changes to this program to reflect changes in risks to Customers and the soundness of the University from identity theft. In doing so, the Committee will consider the University’s experiences with identity theft situations, changes in identity theft methods, changes in identity theft detection and prevention methods, changes in types of accounts offered or maintained, and changes in the University business arrangements with other entities. After considering these factors, the Program Administrator will determine whether changes to the program, including the list of Red Flags, are warranted. If warranted, the program administrator will update the program.