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Stolen computers have Wells Fargo customer data


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NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of Wells Fargo(WFC) 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 statements.

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," said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Janis Smith.

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 occasions.

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

Tax preparer H&R Block and database keeper Acxiom 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 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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the bit that makes me livid is;

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

i would add to that sentence 'that has been publicly admitted'

how many times does OUR personal information have to be stolen before they put in better 'safeguards'??

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