Another Major Identity Data Loss by Wells Fargo
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:
- 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
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 bankÂs 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 bankÂs 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
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.