By Dick Foster
Rocky Mountain News
September 13, 2005
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
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,
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
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
"We've told them to put a fraud alert on their credit reports," said
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
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."
Sept 16-18th, 2005
San Diego, California