The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a report estimating that 27.3 million Americans have been the victims of identity theft in the past five years, including 9.9 million people in the last 12 months alone.
The FTC defines identity theft as the misuse of an individual’s personal information — such as Social Security number, date of birth or mother’s maiden name — to open new credit accounts; or the unauthorized use of another person’s existing accounts, such as credit cards, checking accounts or telephone accounts.
In order to help prevent identity theft and protect the privacy of University employees, Social Security numbers will no longer be printed on payroll checks or deposit advices.
“It is simply to prevent the possibility of identity theft,” said Tina Jannings, manager in payroll services. “Since some departments put checks in mail slots, the potential was there for someone else to take it, open it and gain access to the SSN.”