UH Warns Students, Faculty Of Potential ID Theft

June 17, 2005


HONOLULU -- Students and faculty who attended or worked at all 10 campuses of the University of Hawaii system are being encouraged to take steps to protect themselves against identity theft after a recent case involving a former library employee.

The warning is for all students and faculty at the campuses from 1999-2003. While there is no evidence she stole IDs from the university, everyone is being cautious.

Deborah Jenkins was employed at Manoa's Hamilton Library from 2001 until 2003. Right now, she is a fugitive.

Jenkins had access to more than 150,000 students, faculty, staff and patrons. Anyone who checked out materials at any UH campus library between 1999 and 2003 may be at risk.

While working at UH Manoa, she apparently used a Maryland man's Social Security number to get fraudulent loans.

School officials said they are working with the U.S. Attorney's Office and Secret Service to determine whether the suspect used any of the information in UH's database in identity theft.

Until recently, the university system used Social Security numbers to keep track of who checked out library materials. As a library assistant Deborah Jenkins would have seen thousands of those numbers.

Jenkins and her husband, Paul, were indicted for identity theft and bank fraud last October. Authorities arrested the couple in Florida.

Paul Jenkins admitted that he and other family members used the identity of a Maryland man, which he obtained in Florida, to apply for $48,000 in student loans.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant Deborah Jenkins. She remains at large, probably on the mainland.

UH advised that current and former students and faculty check their credit history.

"We are taking this issue very seriously and strongly advise our staff, students, faculty and other affiliates associated with the university system to, at a minimum, obtain and review their credit report," UH Chief Information Officer David Lassner said in a news release.

UH officials said the school has been working to improve protection for sensitive personal information. The university now only allows access to personal information to certain school personnel.

"It's a wakeup call for our faculty staff and students but the reality is everybody's at risk for this all the time," Lassner said.

UH has provided a Web site to help students and faculty apply for credit reports and to inform them about the situation. Click here for Web site.

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