United Healthcare, the provider for UCI’s Graduate Student Health Insurance Program, admitted that it was the source of identity thefts of past and present UCI graduate and medical students on Wednesday, May 28.
Beginning in February, UC Irvine graduate students who attempted to submit income tax returns electronically were informed by the IRS that their had already been filed, provoking complaints to the UCI Police Department to solve the identity thefts. To date, all 155 reported victims were participants in UCI’s Graduate Student Health Insurance Program.
UCI is currently making efforts to provide identity theft victims with sufficient information to solve the problems caused by the situation. UCIPD sent out the first crime alert on March 20 and has released periodic updates with more information. In addition, affected students will also be provided a guide to prevent identity theft and fraud in the future.
Administration has assured students that data security is their top priority. IT security teams meet regularly in discussion of security problems and practices. UCI’s computer safety Web site, located at security.uci.edu, provides students with information on how to protect their computers from cyber attacks. The site also discusses recent security concerns and email scams.
UCI’s financial aid office has set up emergency loans available to victims of identity theft whose delay in receiving their income tax refund has affected their financial status.
Students are encouraged to visit the Web site of the U.S. Department of Justice for more detailed information on the topic, including instructions to discover whether an individual is a victim of identity theft and what to do if his or her identity has been stolen. This information can be found at Usdoj.gov.
Anyone with further information regarding the identity thefts is encouraged to contact UCIPD at (949) 824-5223.