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Wells Fargo in ID theft flap (again)

Third time in a year

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The theft of four servers from a company that prints loan statement leaves thousands of consumers who have taken out loans or obtained mortgages from Wells Fargo at risk from potential identity fraud, AP reports.

Computers nicked from the Atlanta offices of Regulus Integrated Solutions include personal details including names, addresses, and social security numbers of Wells Fargo customers. It seems likely the robbery was a straightforward theft but there's no good reason to take chances.

Last week Wells Fargo wrote to customers whose data might have been compromised urging them to take extra precautions. It has offered these consumers a year's free subscription to its credit-monitoring service.

Wells Fargo is doing the right thing in the aftermath of a crisis but really it ought to be taking better care of customer data in the first place. It's the third time in little more than a year that Wells Fargo has been obliged to issue advice following the theft of customer data, according to AP.

Identity theft reports accounted for more than 200,000 complaints from consumers to the Federal Trade Commission last year, the biggest and fastest growing crime recorded by the agency. It's unclear how crooks seized hold of sensitive financial information but security breaches from Wells Fargo and other lapses in consumer security by database company Acxiom can only fuel the growing problem of ID theft. ®

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