Extension News

Iowa State University to Help Iowa Veterans Concerned about Identity Theft

5/30/2006

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University faculty and staff are stepping up to help Iowa veterans concerned about identity theft.

 

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science and coauthor of the book “Who is You? The Coming Epidemic of Identity Theft,” knew he had information that could help Iowa veterans learn about the theft of personal information and strategies to restore their personal identity if it were stolen.

 

Schmidt and his coauthor Michael McCoy taught courses spring semester through ISU Extension’s Continuing Education and Conference Services (CECS) unit. They knew the noncredit online short course had the information veterans concerned about identity theft would need.

 

“We are working on several tactics to get information out to Iowa’s veterans,” said Jack Payne, Vice Provost for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Continuing Education and Conference Services is working to make the book and short course content available to veterans. One copy of the book will be in each ISU Extension county office, each Iowa public library and each veteran’s hospital in Iowa by June 7.”

 

CECS and the authors worked with the University Book Store on campus so the book could be sold at a discounted price. Books may be ordered by calling (800) 478-0048. The short course content will be available soon on CD or online.

 

A Department of Veterans Affairs staff member took information on a disk drive home to work on a project, without authorization. The data included names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for veterans. The disk drive was stolen May 3 from the staff member’s Maryland home.

 

Iowa has 276,000 veterans; the number of veterans who had information on the disc drive is uncertain.

 

Information about the ISU Extension effort will be on the Web at www.lifelearner.iastate.edu/idtheft.htm.

 

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Contacts :

Steffen Schmidt, Political Science, (515) 294-3825, sws@iastate.edu

Kristine Phelps, Continuing Education and Conference Services, (515) 294-7329, kphelps@iastate.edu

 Lynette Spicer, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-1327, lspicer@iastate.edu

 

Annette Hacker, University Relations, (515) 294-3720, annette@iastate.edu