A computer with confidential information about some of Wells Fargo’s mortgage customers was reported missing and may have been stolen during shipping, the company said Friday.
Wells Fargo & Co. said a computer being transported for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage by a global express shipping company between Wells Fargo facilities was reported as missing and may have been stolen.
Concern over identity theft has skyrocketed in the wake of scandals last year over information theft from ChoicePoint and LexisNexis, among others. Late last year, the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego reported 110 security breaches affecting 56.3 million individuals in the United States.
Wells Fargo said there is no indication that the information on the computer equipment has been accessed or misused. The computer has two layers of security, making it difficult to access the information, the company said.
Individuals whose information was stored on the equipment are being notified by mail and encouraged to take precautionary steps to reduce any potential risk, Wells Fargo said.
The equipment contained confidential information about some of Wells Fargo’s mortgage customers and prospective customers, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and mortgage loan account numbers, the company said.
The missing equipment did not have depository or any other account numbers on it that the customers may have with Wells Fargo or other financial institutions, Wells Fargo said.
Wells Fargo contacted law enforcement when it learned of the situation and an investigation began, the company said, and law enforcement directed Wells Fargo to delay notifying customers because it was concerned that such notification would jeopardize its investigation.
Through the investigation, law enforcement believes this may have been a theft for the hardware, not for information, Wells Fargo said.
Law enforcement says it no longer believes notification would interfere with its investigation so Wells Fargo now is able to send letters to affected customers and prospective customers about the problem, the company said.