Letter from the CEO

Thursday, August 11, 2011
As summer ends, college students are getting ready for the new academic year. It’s a busy and exciting time for them and their families. They’re moving into dorms or apartments, starting part-time jobs, and sorting out the red tape that comes with student loans and course registration.

But for undergraduates who’ve been the unwitting victims of child identity theft, this can be a period of unexpected challenges. Many young adults, such as Jaleesa Suell, discover the crime in their 20s, years after it has occurred, and they struggle to rehabilitate their credit records. They can’t get credit cards, rent a house or apartment, or secure a loan without their parents co-signing. They might even have trouble landing a job—all because someone stole their identity from right under their nose. We examine this problem, and one solution. You can also listen to Suell’s story here.

Also in this issue, we share one schoolteacher’s hard lesson in identity theft. Imagine Mark Kendel’s shock when he was arrested for writing bad checks in Florida—crimes committed by an identity thief. Learn how one of our fraud investigators took steps to restore his good name.

More than 8 million people were victimized by identity theft last year, and your odds of getting hit increase depending on which state you live in. Learn which factors make some states more vulnerable to attack than others by viewing our slideshow on the 5 Worst States for Identity Theft. Learn how to protect yourself, even if you think your state or city is immune from the crime.

Finally, this month’s Ask the Expert column discusses the disturbing British phone-hacking scandal. As journalists and politicians get grilled over their conduct, the question remains: How is it possible for someone to hack into my cell phone for voicemail messages and other information? Surprisingly, no one is immune from this kind of spying, but there are ways to make life tougher for the intruders. Ondrej Krehel, our Chief Information Security Officer, shares 10 tips to help you shore up your mobile devices and keep your personal life personal.

As always, we hope you enjoy.

Matt Cullina
Chief Executive Officer

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