EPCC leaves 1,000 personal student files "exposed"
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — A mistake at El Paso Community College may have put the personal information of hundreds of students at risk.
"The area we live in, you know, we're already very susceptible to identity theft, and when something like that happens, I mean we're already really close to the border anyway at the school here so, yeah, I see a potential problem," said Travis Harless.
Some 1,000 personal files, dating back as far as 1999, and belonging to students from EPCC, were accidentally "left sitting out" by officials, and weren't properly destroyed.
"I've had, my social security number has been stolen before, and it's really hard having to keep track of it," said Iliana Mendoza.
"That's our personal, private information - our date of birth, our social, our ID number, which can be used for many different things around campus," said Teresa Mijares.
School officials said they first found out about the problem back in June, and have since destroyed the records.
EPCC also sent letters to students whose files were exposed to reassure them that the problem had been dealt with quickly, but some still weren't convinced.
"That doesn't really put me at ease. I mean, I don't want my personal information anywhere, except for on my person. That's kind of a violation of sorts," said Daniel Piñon.
Experts on identity theft protection suggest you look out for any suspicious activity on your financial accounts and report it to your banks or credit card companies immediately if you do notice anything strange.
For more information, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection-Tips