Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
Users of the Bank of America Corp.'s Visa Buxx prepaid debit cards are
being warned that they may have had sensitive information compromised
following the theft of an unencrypted laptop computer.
In a letters sent to Buxx users and dated September 23, the Charlotte,
North Carolina, bank warned that customers may have had their bank
account numbers, routing transit numbers, names, and credit card numbers
compromised by the theft. Visa Buxx is a prepaid credit card for
teenagers that the Bank of America (BofA) stopped selling in January.
The laptop, which belonged to an unnamed Bank of America "service
provider" was stolen on August 29, said Diane Wagner, a BofA
spokesperson. The bank was notified of the theft on September 9, and
began sending out the letters after a two-week investigation, she
Though the information on the laptop would not have been easily
accessible to thieves, it was not encrypted, Wagner said. The bank has
been monitoring the affected accounts and has not yet observed any
signs of fraud. "We have no evidence that an unauthorized person has
accessed or even reviewed that customer information," she said.
Wagner refused to offer many other details on the theft, which was
reported Friday in the San Francisco Chronicle. She would not name the
service provider, say how many BofA customers had been affected, or even
confirm that the theft had occurred within the United States.
This is not the first time BofA has had to notify account holders of
identity theft. In March, it confirmed that information on about 60,000
of its customers had been stolen by an identity-theft ring.
The March disclosure came just a month after BofA revealed that it had
lost digital tapes containing the credit card account records of 1.2
million U.S. federal employees.
Copyright 2005 PC World Communications, Inc.
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