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UM tax mailing reveals student Social Security numbers

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | 6:04 p.m. CST; updated 8:10 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 24, 2010

COLUMBIA — An e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon to University of Missouri System students who received a tax form warns that their Social Security numbers might have been visible in the envelope windows.

Form 1098-T reports tuition billed and paid.

The e-mail came from Nikki Krawitz, UM vice president for finance and administration. Krawitz said students affected might want to monitor their credit and provided links to a credit-monitoring service the university uses. Consumers of the service pay a monthly fee of $3.46.

The e-mail said in full:

January 19, 2010

Dear student:

Early last week, the University of Missouri mailed Internal Revenue Service 1098-T forms to our students via U.S. mail.  On January 14th we became aware that, for some of the forms, the Social Security Number on the form was partially or fully viewable through the envelope window.

I am sending this letter to all students who received 1098-T forms since we do not know which students might have been affected. You can determine if your SSN was viewable by visually inspecting how your form aligns with the envelope window.

If your SSN was indeed viewable and you are concerned about the risk of identity theft, you may want to monitor your credit which can be accomplished by contacting one of the national credit agencies: Experian at 888-397-3742, Equifax at 800-525-6285 or TransUnion at 800-680-7289.

The university has an existing agreement with Experian to provide credit monitoring services at a discounted price.  See http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/departments/hr/benefits/credit.shtml. We have also posted information about this issue on our Web site at http://www.umsystem.edu/taxformnotice/, which will be updated as needed.  If you have additional questions please send an email to UMTaxFormNotice@umsystem.edu.

The security of our students’ personal information is a top priority for us, and we deeply regret that this occurred. We are reviewing our processes and those of our vendors in an effort to prevent this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,

Natalie 'Nikki' Krawitz

Vice President for Finance & Administration


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