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State Guard members at risk of identity theft

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
August 7, 2009
— About 1,700 Wisconsin soldiers are among 131,000 nationally whose personal information was on a laptop computer stolen July 27 from a National Guard Bureau contractor, according to a Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard press release.

The computer contained names, home and e-mail addresses plus Social Security numbers of current and former Army Guard members enrolled in the Army National Guard's Bonus and Incentives program, the release said.


The Wisconsin National Guard is alerting soldiers of the incident and its potential threat while the National Guard Bureau will notify all affected personnel by letter by Saturday, Aug. 15.


The National Guard set up special Web site about the information security breach at www.ng.mil. In addition, guard members may call toll-free at 1-877-481-4957 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Guard members also can take these additional steps to determine if their identity has been stolen:


-- Check credit reports such as Equifax, 1-800-685-1111, www.equifax.com; Experian, 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com; TransUnion, 1-800-916-8800, www.transunion.com.

-- Watch for unexpected bills and for routine bills that are late or missing.


Guard members, regardless if they have been victims of fraud, can contact one of the three credit reporting companies list above to place a 90-day fraud alert on their credit lines. Soldiers on active duty are entitled to a 12-month fraud alert on credit lines.



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