Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Major Identity Data Loss by Wells Fargo

Another-Major-Identity-Data-Loss-by-Wells-Fargo-audio post - click to play

When will it ever end?

Isn't it interesting to note large banks & insurance
companies
evidently do not protect your personal
data in armored cars like
they regularly do with
their own money?


We wonder when will these large companies ever
get it right when it comes to properly securing
your confidential consumer data when in transit.

The first installment this week exposes the mortgage
unit of
Wells Fargo Bank which this past Friday
issued a statement
on the company's website
disclosing it had lost a computer
between
facilities.
The "lost" computer contained highly
sensitive and confidential information on current
and prospective customers:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Social Security Numbers (SSN)
  • Mortgage Loan Numbers

It was not disclosed how many consumers are impacted by this latest
data breach by Wells Fargo. However, according to figures available
on the company's web site, 23 million individuals are claimed
as
customers of Wells Fargo worldwide.

While it's still too soon to determine the level of identity theft
that may arise from this latest data breach by Wells Fargo, the
company has made arrangements for impacted customers to receive
a "...one-year free credit monitoring subscription.."

That may seem very generous of Wells Fargo to offer free credit
monitoring to those whose data has been lost.

However, given Wells Fargo's recent track record in not properly
securing consumer data, you may consider the "free" credit
monitoring offer by the company as an indication of how the
company's officials really feel about their internal data
security procedures.

Here's why:

In November 2003, the names, addresses and Social
Security numbers of thousands of Wells Fargo
customers were compromised when a burglar broke
into the office of a consultant working for the
bank and stole a computer containing the data.

A year later, in November 2004, the company
announced that three laptops and one desktop
computer containing personal data on thousands
of the bank’s borrowers were stolen from an
Atlanta-based subcontractor that printed
monthly statements for Wells Fargo. That
incident prompted two of the affected
individuals to sue the bank for negligence
and breach of contract. The case was decided
in the bank’s favor in March.

And in February 2004, a laptop containing
confidential information on more than
35,000 Wells Fargo customers was lost
by a company employee when it was left
in a car that was stolen from a gas station.


Given the track record of Wells Fargo the
past
two and half years, is it any wonder
why anyone would want to continue banking
there without feeling nervous?

So, our tip for today is if you use Wells Fargo
bank contact them immediately to insure
your sensitive personal information was not
part of that latest batch exposed. If so, make
sure to take advantage of their "free" credit
monitoring offer.

Finally, tell your friends on this latest security
breach which may also have them in a position of
becoming the next victim of identity theft and
check back with us later this week as we will
expose another major data security breach in
our 2nd part of this installment.

1 Comments:

At 4:46 AM, Blogger Nenny Derex said...

Hi! What an interesting blog! I should say that financial companies at the present time, may be very dangerous. The thing is that a large proportion of such institutions are a fraud. They are established to get money from the clients and then suddenly disappear or go bankrupt. They trick in people by offering high interest rates on the deposit accounts. It is better to give your money to a trusted company, like Wells Fargo, for example. Browse this great site www.pissedconsumer.com for customers’ reports about the company.

 

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