The Seattle Post Intelligencer asa story, “B of A Customers Hit By Thefts,” about cash withdrawals being made overseas:
According to customer service representatives at Bank of America, there have been numerous reports of checking account fraud in Seattle, but many more incidents being reported from other states. The increases in fraud reports are generally about overseas cash withdrawals, they said.
Seattle police have been taking “a lot” of calls and reports involving Bank of America customers, said police spokeswoman Debra Brown. She could not provide a specific number of complaints, but said that while officers routinely get calls about financial fraud involving a variety of banks, people have been reporting an unusual number of Bank of America-specific thefts.
Bank of America has lost:
- A backup tape, 1.2 million customers’ SSNs, Feb 25th (See Privacy Rights Clearinghouse chronology.)
- Some fraction of 676,000 SSNs as part of the New Jersey/Orazio Lembo case, May, 2005.
- 18,000 customers, laptop, June 29 (PrivacyRights, again.)
- laptop, unspecified number of customers’ account data Oct 10, 2005.
Correlation, of course, is not causation. There’s lots of data leakage, and these Bank of America customers could have come under attack in lots of ways. If only we had mandatory disclosure of these sorts of things, consumers wouldn’t be tempted by rotten inference, reporters could report quantified facts, and bloggers wouldn’t be drawing attention to such articles. Bank of American customers should be demanding more answers.