Frequently Asked Questions
- What happened?
On February 22, 2010, the burglary of a Math department faculty office, located on the second
floor of the Simpson Tower building, was discovered. A faculty member’s stolen computer may
have contained confidential information.. Thus, we are making every effort to contact individuals
whose information may have possibly been on the computer.
- What type of information was on the stolen computer?
The computer may have contained first and last names, social security numbers and grades of 232 former students.
- What classes and quarters were involved?
The classes and terms include
Math 100, 325 & 474 – Summer 1999
Math 472 & CS 270 – Winter 2000
Math 207, 208 & 521 – Fall 2001
Math 270 – Winter 2002
Math 248 & Math 310 – Spring 2002
Math 310 – Spring 2003
Math 474 – Fall 2005
- Was my information stored on the computer?
If you have received a letter from the University about this incident, your information may have possibly
been stored on the computer. If you were a former math student and have not received a letter from the
University regarding this incident please call the toll free number, at 1-800-883-4029, to verify whether
your information was stored on this computer.
- Was the information on the computer encrypted?
No. The information was stored in a proprietary format used for grading purposes. The faculty member was unaware
that the data was not encrypted.
- Who is responsible for not encrypting this information?
All personnel matters are considered confidential, and therefore, Cal State L.A. cannot comment on
persons who may be involved or describe specific disciplinary actions involving campus employees.
However, please know that the University is addressing the situation appropriately.
- When was my personal information entered on this computer, and how long was it there?
If you have received a letter from the University about this incident, the information was entered
at the time you took the Math class. It is not clear if your information was actually on the
- How long did it take the University to discover and address this situation?
The burglary was discovered on February 22, 2010. Once made aware of this theft, Cal State L.A.'s
College of Natural and Social Sciences and Division of Information Technology Services immediately
took action to collect and reconstruct data to determine what kind of information may have been on
the stolen computer. Contact information, including current addresses of those who may have been
affected, also had to be assembled.
- I haven't received an official notification letter or e-mail from Cal State L.A. about this
incident, but I want to confirm whether I am impacted. How can I do this?
The call center for this incident is the toll free number (800) 883-4029. We can check to see if
your information was on the list of possible affected individuals.
- Will I be getting a call from the University?
No. The University will not call you about this incident unless it is in direct response to an
inquiry from an affected individual.
Please note: Be wary of individuals claiming to be affiliated with the University who may
contact students, employees, and alumni asking for personal information such as Social Security
numbers and credit card numbers with PINs. Please be aware that Cal State L.A. will contact only
members of the campus community who are affected by this incident, and provide information and
resources to help prevent possible fraud or identity theft. The University will not ask for any
personal confidential information unless it is in response to an inquiry from an affected individual.
- Will this incident affect my ability to obtain a job, be admitted to another educational institution, be admitted
to a graduate program, or get financial aid?
This incident should not affect your ability to obtain a job, be admitted to another educational institution,
be admitted to a graduate program, or get financial aid. Nonetheless, we urge you to regularly obtain copies
of your credit report and report any suspicious activity on your accounts immediately.
- I received a notification letter about this incident. Does that mean that someone has misused my personal information?
There is no way of knowing if anyone actually retrieved or used your personal information. However, individuals
should consider taking proactive steps to protect themselves from possible fraud and identity theft.
- What can I do to protect myself if a thief or thieves obtained my information?
Visit Web site at the California Office of Privacy Protection
for helpful information about protecting your identity. You should also consider contacting the credit reporting
agencies listed below to complete an automated phone-in fraud alert process. When you request a free fraud alert,
the agencies will automatically place fraud alerts on your accounts listed with them, and will separately mail you
a credit report at no cost. The Web addresses and telephone numbers, including menu options, are as follows.
- Do I need to obtain a credit report from all three agencies, or is querying one sufficient?
When you place a free fraud alert with one of the credit reporting agencies, that agency is supposed to notify
the other two agencies. To be on the safe side, it may be a good idea for you to contact all three agencies.
Fraud alerts will then be placed automatically on your accounts, and credit reports from the agencies will be
mailed to you at no cost. The Web addresses and telephone numbers of the three major credit agencies are below.
Please note the menu options for placing a fraud alert by phone.
- If I see something suspicious on my credit report, Social Security report, or banking statement, whom should
I contact to investigate the activity?
The California Attorney General's Web site has some helpful
hints on what to do if you suspect fraud or identity theft.
The California Office of Privacy Protection also has various tips regarding identity theft. In addition, you can call your
local law enforcement agency (e.g., city police department) to file a fraud report.
- Will the University pay for my credit report?
No, but when you place a fraud alert with one of the credit reporting agencies, you will receive a free
credit report. The California Office of Privacy Protection
recommends every individual request a copy of
his or her credit report on a yearly basis. Each of the three major credit agencies allows one free credit report
every twelve months. Fees resulting from requests for more frequent credit reports will be the responsibility
of the individual making the request. For more information, see
the California Office of Privacy Protection Web site.
- Are there negative consequences for placing a fraud alert?
Fraud alerts are designed to protect potential and actual victims of fraud or identity theft, but please note
that there may be some inconveniences to placing an alert. According the Federal Trade Commission's Web site:
When a business sees the alert on your credit report, they must verify your identity before issuing you credit.
As part of this verification process, the business may try to contact you directly. This may cause some delays
if you're trying to obtain credit. To compensate for possible delays, you may wish to include a cell phone number,
where you can be reached easily, in your alert. Remember to keep all contact information in
your alert current.
What is a Fraud Alert?