TO:           Executive Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Heads of Schools, Division, Departments and Offices

FROM:     Chief John Cox

DATE:      April 4, 2014

RE:           Tax Form Identity Theft

This week the Purdue Police Department was notified that more than a dozen people at the Purdue West Lafayette campus have been unable to file their 2013 tax returns because someone else has already filed a fraudulent form using their personal information.

The Purdue Police Department has launched a criminal investigation into the identity theft. 

There is no evidence that this identify theft is the result of a cybersecurity attack or computer breach or that it originated from Purdue in any way.

To file a fraudulent claim, a person needs an individual's name, date of birth, and Social Security number. As you are aware, Purdue has not used Social Security numbers as employee identification since 2005.

Similar incidents have recently been reported at Oakland University, the University of Northern Iowa, Arkansas State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Indiana State Medical Association.

This is a rapidly increasing type of fraud. According to a recent article in The Boston Globe, there were 1.6 million fraudulent returns filed with the IRS in the first six months of 2013, which compares with 271,000 cases in all of 2010.

Later today we will be sending a message to all employees at Purdue, which will contain specific steps to take if a Purdue employee believes he or she has been a victim of this type of identity theft.

If this has happened to you or someone in your department, please have the affected individual file a report at the Purdue Police Department.