Four computers containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information of some Wells Fargo & Co. borrowers were stolen last month in the third such security breach in a year, the San Francisco bank said Tuesday.
Wells Fargo bank spokeswoman Julia Tunis said a "relatively small percentage" of Wells Fargo's 4.9 million mortgage customers and 890,000 student-loan borrowers were affected but declined to be more specific about the number of victims.
Note: 1% = 49,000 mortgage customers and 8,900 student-loan borrowers.
As required by a California law that took effect last year, Wells Fargo notified affected customers in letters sent out last week. Tunis said they lived throughout the nation but were concentrated in the Western and Midwestern states where Wells Fargo has full-service bank branches.
The first incident occurred last November in Concord, Calif., when a burglar stole a laptop computer from the office of a marketing consultant working for Wells Fargo. The laptop contained names, addresses and account and Social Security numbers of thousands of customers who had taken out personal lines of credit.
The second theft took place in the St. Louis suburb of Edmundson in February, when two Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employees stopped at a gas station and convenience store on the way to return a rented Mustang.
"They got out of the car, filled it up, went inside to pay the tab or get some munchies, and left the keys in the car. Someone just came along and stole it," said Edmundson Police Chief Ron Hawkins.
Inside the trunk of the car was another laptop with sensitive information.
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