Magazine article American Banker

New ID-Theft Scare at Wells

Magazine article American Banker

New ID-Theft Scare at Wells

Article excerpt

A recent theft of four computers with information about Wells Fargo & Co. customers has underscored the vulnerability of storing customer data on systems in the hands of third-party contractors.

Julia Tunis, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, confirmed Tuesday that three laptop computers and one desktop machine were stolen in early October. She said Wells has mailed letters warning customers that their personal data may have been compromised.

This is at least the third time in the past year the San Francisco company has been involved in such incidents. "We deeply regret that this situation has occurred," Ms. Tunis said.

The theft occurred in early October at a statement-printing center in Atlanta operated by Regulus Group LLC of Napa, Calif., Ms. Tunis said. Wells uses the company to produce escrow account analysis statements for student loan and mortgage customers.

Ms. Tunis said the computers contained confidential customer information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and account numbers.

She would not discuss the crime details, and said "a relatively small percentage of our customers" were affected. Dow Jones Newswires said that "potentially thousands" of accounts were affected.

Ms. Tunis said Wells' mailing offered all affected customers a year's membership with its credit monitoring service. The letter also urged them to file security alerts with the nation's three major credit bureaus.

"We have no indication at this point that any of the information was misused," Ms. …

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