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ww.mz-Ahigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 41 ©2004 The Michigan Daily
E -mail fraud
By Melissa Benton
and Leslie Rott
Daily Staff Reporter
College students preparing for early Christmas
shopping suffered a rude shock last week when
they realized money was missing from their bank
accounts. Department of Public Safety spokeswom-
an Diane Brown said three people reported losing
money from their TCF Bank accounts Wednesday
after responding to fraudulent e-mails.
Brown described the incidents as mostly stu-
dents who reported money was deducted from
their accounts without their authorization.
According to the DPS crime log, one person
reported that she received an e-mail from TCF
Bank asking her to update her personal informa-
tion. After responding to the e-mail, her account
was $500 short.
DPS received another call, from Northwood
Family housing, in which the caller said after
responding to an e-mail from TCF Bank ask-
ing for account information, $500 was deducted
from her account in New Jersey. The caller was
later advised that more than $2,000 was taken
from her account through nine ATM withdraw-
als between Nov. 16 and Nov. 19.
Brown said most of the reports involved mass
e-mails. "I would suggest that students be aware
that banks do not do business by sending out
large group e-mails requesting personal infor-
mation," she said.
Brown added that if students receive an e-mail
from a bank and they are not sure what to make
of it, students should talk to the bank before
responding to the e-mail.
She added that if students believe money has
been deducted from their bank account in an
unauthorized manner, they should first contact
their bank's security or fraud department and
then file a police report.
A representative from TCF Bank said the bank
is investigating the fraudulent e-mails.
The representative added that the bank will
never ask for a person's Social Security number
Brown said that a bank should never request
an account number.
She said because these fraudulent e-mails
claimed to be from the local bank and students
recognized the sender, students were hesitant to
If you suspect foul play...
Contact your bank - TCF can be
reached at (866)823-2265 or online
DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown sug-
gested using the resources on the
University's Identity Theft Website
online at identityweb.umich.edu.
IT'S A ZOO iN HERE
of data center's
By Alison Go
And Emily Kraack
Daily News Editors
Some students returning from break had to wait a
little longer than expected before plunging back into
campus life, as about half of the University's e-mail
system crashed yesterday evening. The situation has
come to be a familiar pattern for the campus commu-
nity, as e-mail has gone down on several occasions,
including one outage that lasted an entire work day.
The most recent crash occurred at 6:45 last night
and was due to a power outage at the Arbor Lakes
Data Center, according to a posting on the Informa-
tion Technology Central Services website. Two cir-
cuits went down and crashed about half of the servers
containing IMAP e-mail information, which affects
Mulberry and web-based mail among other e-mail
Once the circuits were repaired, ITCS staff brought
each e-mail server back up one at a time, effectively
staggering when individual e-mail accounts would
While e-mail returned for students throughout
the night, student reports indicated that e-mail had
returned completely by about 10 p.m. Around 9 p.m.,
Kitty Bridges, the associate vice president for ITCS,
said e-mail could be expected very soon.
ITCS has launched a continuing investigation of e-
mail problems, said Kitty Bridges, the associate vice
president for ITCS. While the short-term investigation
of the Nov. 7 outage yielded inconclusive results, ITCS
will also conduct another inquiry for the latest power
She also said an independent power consultant may
be brought in to assess the situation in an effort to
prevent future power outage problems at the server
facility in Arbor Lakes.
Yesterday's outage was one of several on campus i-
the past semester. Campus e-mail suffered a brief out-.
age last week before the holiday break, but few stu-
dents noticed the early morning disruption. Also, 23
University servers crashed on Nov. 7, taking out not
just e-mail but also the www.umich.edu web portal
and many other University web applications.
The first problems with e-mail this semester came
on Sept. 28 when an undisclosed malfunction caused
servers to crash. The outage lasted from early after-
noon until late into the night.
The ITCS website keeps a frequently updated log
of outages and problems. For more information, view
the log at www.itd.umich.edu/outages/.
Shoppers taking advantage of sales on the day after Thanksgiving, frequently called "Black Friday," crowd around the first floor display of stuffed animals at the FAO
Schwarz toy store on Fifth Avenue last Friday in New York City.
Holiday shopping slower than expece
By Tomislav Ladika
Daily News Editor
Americans' confidence about the
strength of the economy rose by a small
amount this month, according to a Uni-
versity report. Despite the increase, some
of the nation's largest retail chains report-
ed a disappointing start to the holiday
shopping season over the Thanksgiving
The Consumer Confidence Index, a
closely-watched indicator of the econo-
my's health released by the University
each month, increased to 92.8 this month,
up from 91.7 in October. Despite the
small rise, the index remains far below
the 103.8 posted at the start of the year
and is also lower than the 93.7 recorded
Business Prof. Nejat Seyhun said
given the recent high prices of oil and
an 0.6 percent increase in inflation last
month, even a small jump in the index
indicates that consumers are confident
in the future performance of the econ-
"Consumers have been keeping the
economy afloat for the last four years and
it looks like the same at this stage," Seyhun
said in an e-mail.
Richard Curtin, director of the Univer-
sity's Surveys of Consumers, which com-
piles the index, said in a news release that
people are confident enough in the future
performance of the economy that they will
both spend and save more money next year.
Surveys of Consumers predicts that next
year, inflation-adjusted consumption will
See ECONOMY, Page 7A
High court departures
may not pose threat
to affirmative action
STOP AND SMELL THE SNOWF
By Christina Hildreth
Daily Staff Reporter
Chief Justice William Rehnquist's
battle with thyroid cancer has opened
a national discussion about impend-
ing retirements by U.S. Supreme
Should the court reshuffle in the
next four years, President Bush will
have the chance to appoint one or
more justices, which could lead to the
court's stance shifting to the right on
many controversial issues. Yet legal
analysts say it is unclear whether the
new court would have a substantial
impact on the use of affirmative action
Arts admissions policies. While the
court ruled against the LSA's awarding
of specific points for race, it upheld the
Law School's policy.
Legal experts say there are far too
many factors involved to predict what
might happen to the University's policies
or other race-conscious programs in the
future. To have any change in the affir-
mative action ruling, a relevant case must
first be introduced into the legal system
which would seek a reversal of the origi-
nal decision, or at least be posed in such a
way that a reversal would be plausible.
Law Prof. Richard Friedman said he
didn't know of any cases in the court
system at the time, but if one does reach
By Michael Kan
Daily Staff Reporter
Rather than gorging on a juicy turkey
for Thanksgiving, Engineering junior
Rohimino Razafindramanana celebrated
the holiday the international student way
- calling up delivery pizza.
While the exodus of students leaving
prior to the holiday break left the Uni-
versity empty, international students like
Razafindramanana stayed on campus.
Despite being thousands of miles away
from their homes, to some international
students, this year's Thanksgiving was
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