This past Tuesday, the University of Rhode Island communications sent out a notice covering the recent identity thefts happening on campus.

The notice said that “The University has been made aware of some recent student ‘ID Number’ thefts where accounts have been used by imposters to order food from local establishments.”

“We’re still doing an investigation,” explains Major Michael Jagoda about the recent accounts of identity theft. He cautions that if a student thinks they’re ID number has been compromised, “they should report it immediately to the help desk or the URI police.”

“It’s personal information,” Jagoda said. “There can be a lot of information gathered from your ID… students need to protect it and safeguard it and not share it with anybody.”

He cautions that as soon as a student loses their ID they should immediately report it to Dining Services or the Help Desk. “People use [stolen ID’s] for fraud and theft,” Jagoda said. “They really need to safeguard that and keep it in a safe place… Not sharing it with anyone.”

Jagoda wants to stress the fact that students should not share their ID number with anybody. “Sometimes students share those numbers with friends. Sometimes when they leave their ID’s in a public space [they’re stolen],” Jagoda said. “We’re putting out a remained to safeguard that just like your social security number and driver’s license number.

“I’ve lost my ID and worried someone would steal it… especially if there’s money on the RAM account,” said sophomore public relations major Jocelynn Palmer.  

As far as the procedures in place that are meant to protect Student ID’s, Jagoda explains that there is going to be more protection implemented on and off campus. “We’re working with those vendors [who accept RAM account] to ask for ID when people are delivering food or asking for some product or service,” Jagoda said.  

“I don’t ever put money on my card,” said freshman psychology and neuroscience major Hannah Fedrizz. While her RAM account has no money to be compromised, she may still be at risk for identity theft since losing her ID.  

Jagoda cautions students to “be more aware of the use of your ID and where it is and who has access to it.”

In the future, Jagoda explains that to help combat future identity thefts, “you’re probably going to see you’re going to have to change your passwords more frequently now.”

The URI police has recently updated their website with different resources for student/community members, one particularly on identity theft. For more information on what  identity theft is and what you should do if it happens to you, visit http://security.uri.edu/information-security-awareness/identity-theft/

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “as many as 9.9 million Americans become victims of identity theft each year.

Don’t become a statistic. Protect not only your driver’s license and social security card, but also your URI ID card.