Campus & Community

Harvard statement on misuse of IDs

2 min read

An investigation by law enforcement has identified a Harvard College student who had produced counterfeit state driver’s licenses and Harvard University identification cards that, in some cases, used actual Harvard identification numbers. Harvard is working closely with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the case. Subsequent to the identification of this student there has been no indication of further activity of this nature. The student is no longer on the Harvard campus.

The investigation to date has produced no indication that the student had access to personal information, financial records, Social Security numbers, or credit card information. A Harvard identification number alone does not provide access to any private information relating to students, faculty, or staff.

Harvard ID cards can be used to make charges against some meal plans and the Crimson Cash debit system that allows for small individual purchases in and around the campus. Although the University is not aware of suspicious charges to such accounts resulting from this incident, as a precaution we are in the process of notifying holders of active accounts and asking that they monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity.

Although Harvard IDs also can be used to gain initial access to the entryways of some campus buildings, we do not believe that this incident has created a safety risk for the community. Nevertheless, we are taking this as an occasion to review our facilities access procedures. Working with external consultants, we have already implemented security-enhancing steps, with more being planned for the near term. In addition, we remind all members of the community that it is always advisable to take routine and sensible security precautions, such as regularly locking dorm rooms and notifying the police of any suspicious activities on campus.