[ISN] Stolen computers have Wells Fargo customer data

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Nov 3 07:55:39 EST 2004


Nov. 02, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of Wells Fargo & Co. mortgage and
student-loan customers may be at risk for identity theft after four
computers were stolen last month from a vendor that prints loan

The computers were taken from the Atlanta office of Regulus Integrated
Solutions LLC contained customer names, addresses, and social security
and account numbers.

No passwords or personal-identification numbers were in the database.

``There is no indication that the stolen information has been
misused,'' Wells Fargo spokeswoman Janis Smith said.

Regulus, which also services other big banks, didn't return phone
calls seeking comment.

The bank declined to say how many people may be affected. But Wells
Fargo, a $422 billion financial-services company, has about 4.9
million mortgage customers and serves about 890,000 customers through
its education-finance division.

The bank notified customers by mail last week after finding out about
the theft and urged them to take precautions such as filing a security
alert with the three major credit bureaus.

Additionally, the bank is offering a free year of its
credit-monitoring service, Wells Fargo Select Identity Theft
Protection, to customers who enroll by March 31, 2005.

It marks the third time in about a year computers have been stolen
containing personal data of Wells Fargo customers.

The bank said it isn't aware of any misuse from the two previous

Earlier this year, thousands of credit-card numbers were stolen from
BJ's Wholesale Club Inc.

Tax preparer H&R Block Inc. and database keeper Acxiom Corp. have also
had consumer information stolen in recent years.

The incidents highlight the increasing danger of identity theft, which
occurs when an individual's information is stolen and then used to
open up credit and bank accounts.

In a recent report, the Federal Trade Commission estimated that 27.3
million people have been victims of identity theft in five years.

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