Personal data potentially compromised

February 1, 2008

Consolidated Public Affairs Office

Marine Corps Bases Japan officials are investigating the Jan. 11 theft of a laptop computer, which contained personally identifiable information for as many as 4,000 clients of Marine Corps Community Services' New Parent Support Program.

According to Marine Corps officials, the laptop may contain names, ranks, social security numbers, dates of birth, children's names and mailing addresses of U.S. military service members, U.S. government employees and Status of Forces Agreement personnel on Okinawa and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. It does not include driver's license numbers or bank and credit card information.

"The Marine Corps takes very seriously its responsibility to safeguard the personal information of its service members, their families and government employees," said 1st Lt. Garron Garn, a Marine Corps Bases Japan spokesman. "Our information systems are password protected and our users are educated on ways to protect personally identifiable information."

Marine Corps Bases Japan and MCCS officials are working together with J&E Associates, a federal contractor for MCCS and owner of the computer, to notify potentially affected personnel as soon as possible, according to Garn. There is no evidence the information has been misused.

Anyone concerned about their information being compromised should contact the New Parent Support Program at 645-0396.

Marine Corps officials encourage service members, their families and government employees who think their information has potentially been compromised to visit for protective actions against identity theft. Additionally, they may place a fraud alert on their credit files for up to 24 months by contacting one of the three national credit bureaus: Equifax at (800) 766-0008, Transunion at (800) 680-7289, or Experian at (888) 397-3742. A fraud alert will generate a free credit report that should be reviewed for suspicious activity.

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