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Maine AG Looking into TD Bank's 'Misplaced' Customer Data
10/10/2012   Reported By: Jennifer Mitchell

This weekend, an undisclosed number of TD Bank customers received notices indicating that some of their personal data had been "misplaced." According to the company, the information, including bank account and Social Security numbers, has been missing for almost seven months. Now, the Maine Attorney General's Office, and dismayed consumers, want to know why the bank didn't move faster to notify affected parties of the breach. Jennifer Mitchell has more.

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How serious the security breach at TD Bank has been, or how big, are all questions that remain to be answered.

"I have not been received notice yet, so I contacted the bank yesterday and the bank told me that the notice had been mailed to this office on October 5th," says Linda Conti, an attorney with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office in Augusta, who only learned of TD Bank's data misplacement by opening up a newspaper.

"But we still don't have it," Conti says. "So I am going to contact them again and chase down the actual notice that they were supposed to send to me."

By law, Conti says the bank does has an obligation to notify the Attorney General's Office and consumers in "a timely manner."

According to a TD Bank teller who did not wish to be identified, a box of "tapes" which contained computer data back ups of customer information went missing in March when the boxes were being transferred from one bank location to another.
Rebecca Acevedo, a TD Bank spokesperson, declined to say how many customers were affected, how many are in Maine, or how the bank managed to lose the box. But she says her company is sorry for the loss.

"What I really want folks to know and understand is that there is no evidence that the data on these tapes are being used in any inappropriate way. That there's no security breach," Acevedo says.

"I don't know where my information is. I can say that in the interim between March, when they lost the data, and now, my ID was stolen," says Lew Alessio, who has six business and personal accounts with TD Bank.

On Aug. 2, Alessio says someone in Florida began making unauthorized charges on his credit and bank cards, which he says are handled through TD Bank. He was then forced to deactivate all of his cards, cancel his automatic bill payments, and notify creditors.

Alessio says the whole process was a huge disruption in his life. He did not know at the time that TD Bank had misplaced customers' personal information back in March. Anad while he can't prove that his recent problems with information theft were a result of the missing data, he says he finds it "highly coincidental."

And he says, the bank has done nothing to allay his fears. "I either get put on hold, and they never come back, or they transfer me to Kansas or Tennesee or something like that, or the person reads off a prepared script," he says.

Also, troubling, says Alessio, is that all of his accounts had been opened with another person's name and Social Security number, yet that person has not received notifcation of the breach.

Waiting seven months to speak up after a security failure, says Linda Conti with the Attorney General's Office, is a little unusual. The statute allows for "reasonable and prompt" investigation, and only allows for a lengthy delay if law enforcement is involved.

Conti says that the Secret Service is the organization that handles such data breach investigations, and so far, she is not aware of its involvement.

Rebecca Acevedo with TD Bank says that all affected customers should have received notification by now. Customers who didn't get a letter didn't have information that was lost. For those who did, the company is offering a free credit information monitoring service.



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