Colleges Sending Emails Asking for Sensitive Information



Below is information that was provided to me by the National College Advocacy Group (NCAG):

Earlier this month a client forwarded an e-mail her daughter received from the college she is attending.  The e-mail started as follows:

Dear Student:

Our records indicate that you have not provided the university with your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). A TIN is generally your Social Security Number (SSN) or, if you are not eligible to obtain an SSN, your individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).  The University is required by law to attempt to obtain your correct TIN to file certain information returns with the IRS ………………………  You are required by law to provide the requested information. Failure to provide your correct identifying number could result in a penalty from the IRS ……………

 I followed up with the college and they confirmed to me that they did send the e-mail.

NEVER Email Sensitive Information

Please make you are aware that for security reasons NEVER send sensitive information by e-mail to anyone. If a college does request this type of information via e-mail, first contact the institution and confirm that they need the information, and then either fax or mail the information to the college.


Image credit: Courtesy of  Salvatore Vuono/

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