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Identity Theft Prevention Policy 4.8-1


Business & Financial Management
Authorizing Body:
Board of Control - BC
Responsible Department:
Controller's Office
Applies To:
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Adopted Date:
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Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), in response to a growing problem of identity theft, endeavors to safeguard personal and private information of all of its constituents, including faculty, staff, students, vendors, volunteers and donors.  Additionally, the University recognizes that some activities of the University are subject to the provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ("FACTA") and the "Red Flag" rules. Therefore, the Board of Control of SVSU adopts the following initial Identity Theft Prevention policy designed to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with conducting University business. 

Policy Adoption

The University has adopted this initial Identity Theft Prevention Policy in compliance with the "Red Flag" rules issued by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to FACTA.  After consideration of the size and complexity of the University's operations and account systems, and the nature and scope of the University's activities, management and the Board of Control have determined that this policy is appropriate for the University. 


Pursuant to the Red Flag regulations at 16 C. F. R. § 681.2, the following definitions shall apply to this policy: 

“Covered accounts:”

1.   Any account the University offers or maintains primarily for personal, family or household purposes, that involves multiple payments or transactions. 

2.   Any other account the University offers or maintains for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk to customers or to the safety and soundness of the University from identity theft, including financial, operational, compliance, reputation, or litigation risks. 

"Credit:"   The right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment or to purchase property or services and defer payment therefore. 

“Creditor:”   An entity that regularly extends, renews or continues credit. 

“Customer:”   Any person with a covered account with a creditor. 

"Identifying information:"  Any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person," including: name, address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, government issued driver's license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, unique electronic identification number, or computer's Internet Protocol address or routing code. 

"Identity theft:"  A fraud committed using the identifying information of another person without authority.

"Red Flag:"   A pattern, practice or specific activity that indicates the possible existence of identity theft. 

The Program

The University is required to establish an Identity Theft Prevention Program (the "Program") to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft. The Program shall include reasonable policies and procedures to: 

1.   Identify relevant Red Flags for covered accounts it offers or maintains and incorporate those Red Flags into the Program. 

2.   Detect and record Red Flags that have been incorporated into the Program. 

3.   Respond appropriately to any Red Flags that are detected to prevent and mitigate identity theft. 

4.   Ensure the Program is updated periodically to reflect changes in identity theft risks to customers and to the safety and soundness of the University in its role as creditor.

The Program shall, as appropriate, incorporate existing policies and procedures that control reasonably foreseeable risks. 

Responsible University Official

The Board of Control has designated the Executive Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs, or his designee, to serve as Program Administrator.  The Program Administrator shall exercise appropriate and effective oversight over the Program and shall report to the President's Staff on the Program. 

Program Administration and Maintenance

The Program Administrator, with the assistance of the Identity Theft Prevention Program Committee, is responsible for developing, implementing and updating the Program throughout the University system.  The Program Committee will be responsible for ensuring appropriate training of University staff on the Program, for reviewing any staff reports regarding the detection of Red Flags and the steps for identifying, preventing and mitigating identity theft, determining which steps of prevention and mitigation should be taken in particular circumstances and considering periodic changes to the Program. 

The Program will be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in identity theft risks and technological changes.  The Program Administrator will consider the University's experiences with identity theft, changes in identity theft methods, changes in identity theft detection, mitigation and prevention methods, changes in types of accounts the University maintains, changes in the University's business arrangements with other entities, and any changes in legal requirements in the area of identity theft.  After considering these factors, the Program Administrator will determine whether changes to the Program, including the listing of Red Flags, are warranted. 

The Program Administrator shall confer with appropriate University personnel as necessary to ensure compliance with the Program.  The Program Administrator or his designee shall annually report to the President's staff on the effectiveness of the Program.  The Program Administrator shall present any recommended changes to the President's staff for approval.  The President's Staff approval shall be sufficient to make changes to the Program. 

Identification of Relevant Red Flags

In order to identify relevant Red Flags, the University considers the types of accounts that it offers and maintains, the methods it provides to open its accounts, the methods it provides to access its accounts, and its previous experiences with Identity Theft.  The following are relevant Red Flags, in each of the listed categories, which University personnel should be aware of and diligent in monitoring for: 

A.  Notifications and Warnings from Credit Reporting Agencies 

  • Report of fraud accompanying a credit report
  • Notice or report from a credit agency of a credit freeze on a customer or applicant
  • Notice or report from a credit agency of an active duty alert for an applicant; and
  • Indication from a credit report of activity that is inconsistent with a customer's usual pattern or activity. 

B.  Suspicious Documents 

  • Identification document or card that appears to be forged, altered or inauthentic
  • Identification document or card on which a person's photograph or physical description is not consistent with the person presenting the document
  • Other document with information that is not consistent with existing customer information (such as if a person's signature on a check appears forged); and
  • Application for service that appears to have been altered or forged. 

C   Suspicious Personal Identifying Information 

  • Identifying information presented that is inconsistent with other information the customer provides (example: inconsistent birth dates)
  • Identifying information presented that is inconsistent with other sources of information (for instance, an address not matching an address on a credit report)
  • Identifying information presented that is the same as information shown on other applications that were found to be fraudulent
  • Identifying information presented that is consistent with fraudulent activity (such as an invalid phone number or fictitious billing address)
  • Social security number presented that is the same as one given by another customer
  • An address or phone number presented that is the same as that of another person
  • A person fails to provide complete personal identifying information on an application when reminded to do so (however, by law social security numbers must not be required); and
  • A person's identifying information is not consistent with the information that is on file for the customer. 

D.  Suspicious Account Activity or Unusual Use of Account 

  • Change of address for an account followed by a request to change the account holder's name
  • Payments stop on an otherwise consistently up-to-date account
  • Account used in a way that is not consistent with prior use (example: high activity)
  • Mail sent to the account holder is repeatedly returned as undeliverable
  • Notice to the University that a customer is not receiving mail sent by the University
  • Notice to the University that an account has unauthorized activity
  • Breach in the University's computer system security; and
  • Unauthorized access to or use of customer account information. 

E.  Alerts from Others 

  • Notice to the University from a customer, identity theft victim, law enforcement or other person that it has opened or is maintaining a fraudulent account for a person engaged in identity theft. 

Detection of Red Flags

The Program's general Red Fag detection practices are described in this document.  The Identity Theft Prevention Program Committee will develop and implement specific methods and protocols appropriate to meet the requirements of this Program. 

A.  New Accounts

In order to detect any of the Red Flags identified above associated with the opening of a new account, University personnel will take appropriate steps to obtain and verify the identity of the person opening the account.  Such steps may include the following: 

  • Require certain identifying information such as name, date of birth, residential or business address, driver's license or other identification
  • Verify the customer's identity (for instance, review a driver's license or other identification card); and
  • Independently contact the customer. 

B.  Existing Accounts

In order to detect any of the Red Flags identified above for an existing account, University personnel will take appropriate steps to monitor transactions with an account. Such steps may include the following: 

  • Verify the identification of customers if they request information (in person, via telephone, via facsimile, via email)
  • Verify the validity of requests to change billing addresses; and
  • Verify changes in banking information given for billing and payment purposes.  

Responding to Red Flags and Mitigating Identity Theft

In the event University personnel detect any identified Red Flags, such personnel shall take appropriate steps to respond and mitigate identity theft depending on the nature and degree of risk posed by the Red Flag, including but not limited to the following examples: 

  • Monitor a covered account for evidence of identity theft
  • Contact the customer
  • Change any passwords, security codes or other security devices that permit access to a covered account
  • Reopen a covered account with a new account number
  • Not open a new covered account
  • Close an existing covered account
  • Notify law enforcement; and
  • Determine no response is warranted under the particular circumstances. 

Service Provider Arrangements

In the event the University engages a service provider to perform an activity in connection with one or more accounts, the University will take appropriate steps to ensure the service provider performs its activity in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate the risk of identity theft. Such steps may include the following: 

  • Reviewing a copy of that service provider's identity theft policies and procedures
  • Require, by contract, that service providers have such policies and procedures in place; and
  • Require, by contract, that service providers review the University's Program and report any Red Flags to the Program Administrator. 

Staff Training and Reporting

University personnel responsible for implementing the Program shall be trained under the direction of the Program Administrator or his designee and/or members of the Identity Theft Prevention Committee, as appropriate, in the detection of Red Flags, and the responsive steps to be taken when a Red Flag is detected. Appropriate staff shall provide reports to the Program Administrator on incidents of identity theft, the effectiveness of the Program and the University's compliance with the Program. 

Conformity to Law

All programs implemented pursuant to this policy must be in compliance with FTC regulations, state laws and other University policies.