Fort Carson records stolen

September 13, 2005

By Dick Foster,1299,DRMN_21_4076654,00.html

COLORADO SPRINGS - Fort Carson has cautioned thousands of its soldiers to watch their credit records carefully following the theft of computerized personnel records from the post.

Thieves broke into the Soldier Readiness Processing center over the weekend of Aug. 20-21 and stole four computer hard drives containing thousands of personnel records, Fort Carson spokeswoman Dee McNutt said Monday.

The records include names, Social Security numbers, ages, ranks, jobs, citizenship information and unit affiliations of soldiers and civilians who had been processed through the center since January, McNutt said.

Soldiers must update their personnel information through the center at least once a year, or whenever they are deploying or transferring to or from the post. Civilian federal employees and contractors deploying with military units also must register.

The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's 5,300 soldiers deployed to Iraq in March, and the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, with about 4,000 soldiers, arrived at the post in July, so most of those soldiers' records were contained on the hard drives that were stolen, McNutt said.

So far, McNutt said, no credit fraud or identity theft complaints involving the stolen records have been made to authorities.

Fort Carson has advised all of its soldiers, on post and deployed, how to protect themselves against possible identity theft arising from the stolen records.

"We've told them to put a fraud alert on their credit reports," said McNutt.

Soldiers also can place an "active duty alert" on their credit report. The alerts require businesses to verify the identity of anyone applying for credit under the name of active duty military personnel, said Holly Petraeus, senior program consultant for the Better Business Bureau Military Line.

"Their best defense is to watch for anything unusual and keep an eye on their bills and credit reports," Petraeus said.

Soldiers were advised to close any affected credit card or other financial account if irregularities are seen, and to file police reports and a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, McNutt said.

Fort Carson's is not the first theft of military personnel records this year. In August a suspected hacker tapped into an Air Force database containing records of 33,000 officers and enlisted personnel.

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the Fort Carson break-in, but there are no suspects, McNutt said.

"This could happen in any corporation," said McNutt. "It's always good to be aware that your personal information could get out there and you should know the steps you need to protect it."

main page ATTRITION feedback