Shurtleff revisiting USU for identity theft tour

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff will return to campus Oct. 22 as part of a statewide information tour. The goal of the tour is to teach the campus community ways to protect itself from identity theft and, if it does happen, how to report it.Shurtleff will be on campus from 4-7 p.m. Thursday and students who come can talk to him face to face, according to a press release. Shurtleff will speak at 6 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Sunburst Lounge. A giant shredder will accompany Shurtleff on campus, and students and community members can bring up to eight legal boxes of paper to shred for free.Scott Morrill, who came with Shurtleff on his Sept. 30 visit, said he has been involved in information technology for more than 20 years and created a Web site to help Utahns and the police department communicate better about identity theft. The Web site, www.idtheft.utah.gov, provides victims of ID theft with a way to easily report cases of theft. Morrill said the police department then takes the report and gives it a case number. The case number can be used as proof and to clear the ID-theft victim’s name when they do things, such as apply for a line of credit.The site, also known as the Identity Theft Reporting System (IRIS), has had 2,400 people sign up and 3,300 ID thefts reported since it started in 2006, Morrill said. The federal government gave the site about $13,000 in initial funds, and Morrill said the project has been funded since by about $400,000 in appropriated state funds.Morrill said college students are especially susceptible to identity theft. Credit card companies will set up booths offering free food and other items to people who give them their information – such as name, social security number and phone number – and students will give out this information without much thought.”They’ll do it for a T-shirt. They’ll do it for a pita,” Morrill said.These kinds of booths are a good way for identity thieves to get students’ information, Morrill said.

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