November 3, 2006
Imagine having your social security number emailed to a complete stranger. That is the reality for over 600 UVa students.
"I definitely will keep my eyes out. I already checked my bank account not really thinking anything bad will have happened so far but that is in the back of my mind," said first year Will Rucker.
Will Rucker is one of 632 students at UVa whose social security numbers were inadvertently emailed to other students on Tuesday night. Student Financial Services was supposed to email a total of 1264 notices to people who may face blocks on their accounts. Instead, half of the people were emailed the other halves personal information.
"I heard that Financial Services is going to send letters to the 600 or so students whose id's were distributed," Rucker said.
According to UVa officials, the mistake was made by a computer programmer who did not check the program before sending the emails. They say they identified the error on Wednesday morning and have fixed the problems.
After refusing an on camera interview, spokesperson Carol Wood said, "We trust all the students will quickly and honorably dispose of the information eliminating any chance of a problem."
Around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, Rucker received the email laying out the problems and giving him websites to check to avoid identity theft. A situation he hopes to avoid.