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DePauw Students Get Identities Stolen
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:52:22 -0500
The real world burst the DePauw bubble recently for several students
who were victims of credit card theft.
These few students are not the only ones facing this threat. According
to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice 2010 statistics,
approximately 646,400 18 to 24-year-olds faced some sort of identity
Senior Brett Stamper became a similar statistic when his credit card
information was stolen, leaving him with a frozen bank account.
“I tried to buy a couple folders and supplies for school and my card
got declined,” Stamper said. “I was really taken aback as to why they
told me my card was declined. It could happen to anyone, anywhere,
Another DePauw student, senior Louie Wallis received a call from his
bank saying that they were suspecting fraudulent activity.
“I had 50 dollars worth of transactions that had gone through, but
then the bank caught it quickly,” he said. “Four more transactions
were attempted. They all were denied -- each was worth over $100.”
Wallis was the first of several members of his fraternity to have to
cope with credit card theft. Senior Garrett Kawa had a similar
“The common denominator in everything was the Kork and Keg liquor
store,” Kawa said.
The manager of the Kork and Keg declined to comment on the record.
“[The bank] suspected that the culprits had hacked into the Kork and
Keg’s system,” Wallis said. “They didn’t believe that it was the
people actually working at the Kork and Keg.”
Director of Public Safety Angela Nally points to another unifying
factor among the victims: each of the students still had his card.
"They are getting the credit card number then making a fake credit
card,” Nally said. “It's quite an extensive operation."
Stamper, Wallis and Kawa have all been reimbursed by their banks and
are in the process of receiving new cards.
According to FTC.gov, if someone’s identity gets stolen they should
place an initial claim of fraud, monitor the order credit reports and
then create an identity theft report. Throughout the process one
should monitor the progress.
“It’s not something that you think is going to happen, especially in a
town like this” Stamper said. “I didn’t think it was a concern.”
Three accounts of identity theft, outside of Stamper, Wallis, and
Kawa, have also been brought forward to Public Safety.
“We forwarded it to the white collar division of the Indiana State
Police,” Nally said.
Stamper also said that businesses have an obligation to their
customers to figure things out quickly.
“It kind of opened my eyes to the world of identity theft. It’s
definitely going to make me more cautious when using my debit card,”
Stamper said. “I’m definitely going to try to use cash more often.”
Stamper noted how fortunate he was to have another account that he had
access to throughout the extensive process.
“It took seven days for them to investigate and get money back into my
account,” Stamper said.
Wallis, who only has one bank account, has had a more difficult time.
“I haven’t been able to spend any money because I didn’t have any cash
on me when this happened,” Wallis said.
Wallis offers a piece of advice to his peers, “If it comes between
using cash and your card, you should try to use cash so you don’t end
up in this situation.”
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- DePauw Students Get Identities Stolen Erica Absetz (Feb 19)