Identity theft usafa basic cadet

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Navy95, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Navy95

    Navy95 New Member

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    Just want people to be aware that identity theft has already occurred to my son since his arrival at the USAFA and to find out if anyone else has had it happen to them. He used the credit card at the Academy book store on the 28th of June and on the 1st of July there were four invalid charges made. Two at separate Seven Eleven stores and two at separate Loaf N' Jugs. All in Colorado Springs. The disturbing fact isn't that it happened but where it happened. It is a card that we've had for years but haven't used and he has only used it one time and at one place in Colorado, The Academy. Unfortunately I am unable to contact him to see if he still has the card in his possession so I don't know if he lost the card (doubtful) or the information was taken from his purchase. It also leaves me with questions as to who had access to the information. Was it a person or has their system been compromised? Fortunately my credit card company noticed the unusual activity and contacted me on the 2nd of July so they are only out a little over $200.00. We have since discontinued the card but as I can not call him it will take a while to get all the details straight. If you sent your child with a credit card please check accounts as soon as possible.
     
  2. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    Wow, thanks for the info Navy. I don't have on line access to my son's account, but I can check with the bank on Tuesday.
     
  3. bandit

    bandit Member

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    you didn't post if the fraudulent charges were made with the card or not. Your bank would know that as a charge made with a card is totally different than a charge made without one.

    The stores you mentioned are all retail locations. They would not be able to process a charge there without the card in hand, unless it was the cashier that actually has the number. This leads me to believe your son may have somehow lost the card. Or it has been stolen from his room.

    One thing everyone seems to think is that somehow the USAFA is more secure than an ordinary college. It is not. Yes the cadets are "supposed" to be honest and probably most of them are more honest than the average student might be. But keep in mind, there is lots of construction going on and there are also lots of other people roaming the halls of the school that are not cadets or AF.

    Tell your sons & daughters to keep their valuable locked up in their drawer at all times and their room doors locked.
     
  4. Navy95

    Navy95 New Member

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    The credit card company told me that it would have been "swipped", probably at a pump, which would indicate they had a card. She also said that he may still have his card. It appears that they can now make fake cards. I have sent him a letter asking if he still has his. Won't know for a few days.

    I realize no place is safe and working at a prison I probably know that better than most. You made a good point. Even though we would like to believe that all members of the military (myself included) are honest it's not always true and there are a lot of civilians on the base as well. Still, you would like to think the AFA would be a "safer" place but you can't control human nature.
     
  5. bandit

    bandit Member

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    What I have found after three years is that if anything, USAFA is more prone to theft than a normal college. I have kids in both. The reason I say that is because I think the cadets have this presumed sense of security and simply don't lock things up as much as they would.

    When I visit my D at college and walk down the dorm hallway. If the door is open in a room, there is always someone in it. Otherwise, the door is closed and locked. When I walk down the hall at USAFA, there are tons of rooms with open doors and nobody in them.

    I even remember when we went on our tour of USAFA and went through mitch's. The person remarked at the pile of backpacks on the shelfs that things were safe, and nobody would steal the backpacks.

    Well over three years, I am amazed at how many thefts I have heard about from other parents. Even computers taken right off the desk in a cadets room.

    My bet is that this is not identity theft at all, but rather someone stole the card out of his room. Either way, please let us know the outcome when you have the time to write and get a letter back.
     
  6. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    It doesn't help when the policy is for C4Cs to keep their doors open until 1945 every day.
     
  7. bandit

    bandit Member

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    good point packer. That's why everything of value needs to stay in the locked drawer. Hopefully things aren't so bad that they are stealing from the locked drawer.
     
  8. ds52262

    ds52262 Member

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    you might want to contact the 10SFS Security Force (police) at the Academy. Fill them in on the details so they can determine if your son has the card in his possesion. 719-333-4100 they will get with your sons AOC "Commander" and pull him aside to find out.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If it is valuable, LOCK IT!...applies everywhere.

    I had money stolen once from my dorm room. It shouldn't happen, but it does.
    I left my door open often, even after that, but I put anything valuable in a hard to find or locked location.
     
  10. Navy95

    Navy95 New Member

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    I still have not talked to my cadet in person but we called to find out if he still had his card in his possession. The message we received back was that he did not have it on his person. That he had lost it before inprocessing. That means that all of the charges on the card, even the one at the Academy book store are fraudulant. Hopefully on Saturday when, or if, he calls I'll find out more. I still don't know at this point if he has his wallet or where he thinks he lost the card. I'll keep you posted.
     
  11. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Theft at the Academy is actually common at the cadet dormitories. I know of multiple cases where things were taken by the civilian contractors who do the janitorial work in Sijan and Vandy. They are notorious for this kind of stuff, though this is the first time I've heard of a credit card stolen.
     
  12. Navy95

    Navy95 New Member

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    I finally have more details on the missing credit cards. My son did have the card with him on the 28th when he purchased his cleaning supplies for his room. He and his Cadre believe that he left his wallet in his uniform and when it went to laundry it was taken there by civilian staff. We know the card was used off base, 4 times, anywhere from 8 a.m. to a little after midnight so we know it wasn't another cadet...they aren't usually out that late. Thank goodness he only had a little money in the wallet and the credit card. He'd taken out his I.D. and most of the money.
     
  13. onlyplaying

    onlyplaying 2014 Cadet Mom

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    Thanks for the update. After reading your initial post, I made sure to remind my BC to keep things locked up. That there are always other people wandering around. Always nice to remind them of things they used to take for granted.
     
  14. shiner

    shiner Member

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    Just to clairfy an ealier poster - 4*s are typically required to have their doors open only when they are in the room. They are allowed to close and lock the door when no one is present.

    When I was a cadet, they busted at least one theft ring of cadets stealing mail -- a federal offense. Office of Special Investigations (OSI) installed hidden cameras in the mail room of Vandy and caught cadets opening other cadet mail boxes taking cards from home that almost always carry cash. There are(/were) a lot of cadets who are lazy and left their mailbox set so that you just had to turn the knob to the right and open them - they did not want to dial the code everytime.

    It may have been the same group, but another theft ring was more bold and involved cadets entering other cadet rooms in the middle of the night. Like was stated above, there is a belief that you are safe in the dorms and some did not lock their rooms at night. A skill learned early on then was how to break into a room with a coat hanger. They have since installed plates across the deadbolt locks to prevent this, but cadets are a determined breed and can reverse engineer a lot of stuff so I presume it still happens. Why would you need to break into a room you might ask? Lots of reasons really - most of which are not bad or illegal in nature. It could be as simple as getting into your room when your roommate locked you out and your AOC or other person with the master key is not around.
     
  15. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Very true post...and I had to learn how to pick a lock because the room was accidentally locked from the inside with no one in it. I was surprised to find how easy the process really is - it can be mastered without special tools in about 20 minutes with the cadet door locks.
     

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