The personal details of almost 100,000 University of California students have been stolen - and it's all because one laptop was taken from one of the college's campuses. AP reports that the theft actually took place on March 11, but officials had waited until now to release details in the hope that the thief might be caught. That hasn't happened, raising fears of identity theft.
The laptop was stolen from UC Berkeley, wihch now plans to tell all the people affected - some 98,369, including current alumni, past applicants and graduate students - to check credit reports. However, the university's Maria Felde said there was no indication any of the data had been used illegally.
"The campus really regrets this happened and is taking steps to strengthen security in the future," Felde told AP. The university has set up a hotline on 1-800-372-5110, as well as a website to answer questions about the theft. It says: "At this time the campus has no evidence that personal data were actually retrieved or misused. However, in accordance with state law, UC Berkeley officials are making every reasonable effort to notify by mail and e-mail all 98,369 individuals whose names and Social Security numbers were on the computer and, as a precaution, suggest they consider placing a fraud alert on their credit reporting accounts."
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