AG Coakley Warns Consumers Over Lost TD Bank Data
Loss Impacts More Than 73,000 Massachusetts Consumers; AG’s Office Offers Guidance to Consumers on How to Protect Personal Information
BOSTON – TD Bank has informed the Attorney General’s Office that it lost unencrypted back-up tapes containing personal information, including account information and Social Security numbers, for more than 73,000 Massachusetts customers. According to TD Bank, notices are being sent to more than 267,000 potentially affected consumers nationwide beginning this week after two data tapes were lost in March.
"The loss of these tapes potentially puts the personal information of thousands of Massachusetts consumers at risk, and we remind consumers to take appropriate steps to protect themselves,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “We will be reviewing the circumstances of this breach and the steps that TD Bank is taking to address the loss.”
TD Bank says it is unaware of any misuse of personal information at this time, but it cannot rule out that possibility. The personal information of Massachusetts residents which was included on the tapes may have included name, address, Social Security number, account number, or other data elements such as date of birth or driver’s license number. TD Banks says that they will be sending letters to Massachusetts consumers today about this breach and how they are addressing the loss of the tapes.
In light of this recent news, the AG’s Office offers consumers the following information on how to protect themselves against potential identity theft:
- Affected consumers should take advantage of the credit monitoring service being offered by the bank
- Do not respond to unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or mailings that ask you for your credit card number, credit card security codes, social security numbers, or bank account numbers.
- Carefully review and monitor your credit card or other financial accounts for any unauthorized activity and monitor your credit reports.
- Call one of the three major credit bureaus and place a one-call fraud alert on your credit report:
- Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285, www.equifax.com, or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241.
- Experian: Call (888) 397-3742, www.experian.com, or write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013.
- TransUnion: Call (800) 680-7289, www.transunion.com, or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834-6790.
You only need to call one of the three credit bureaus; the one you contact is required by law to contact the other two credit bureaus. This one-call fraud alert will remain in your credit file for at least 90 days. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report, you are entitled to order one free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies.
- Order a copy of your credit report, and look for unauthorized activity. Look carefully for unexplained activity on your credit report.
- If there is unexplained activity on your credit report, you may want to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. If after reviewing your credit report you believe there is unexplained activity, you may want to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. In order to do this, you need to file a police report with your local police department, keep a copy for yourself, and provide a copy to one of the three major credit bureaus. Then an extended fraud alert can be placed on your credit file for a 7-year period.
- If there is unexplained activity on your credit report, you may also want to consider placing a security freeze on your credit reports. Massachusetts consumers can place a security freeze on their credit reports. In most instances, a security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from your credit report without your written authorization. Consumers should be aware that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests they make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing or other lines of credit. If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $5.00 each to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.
More information about the steps involved in placing a security freeze can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/scams-and-identity-theft/identity-theft/fraud-alerts.html
If you believe that you have been the victim of identity theft, you will need to take additional steps to protect your credit and your good name. For additional information, consumers may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400, or view the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft resource, available at www.ftc.gov/idtheft/. Consumers can also find out more information about identity theft by visiting the AGO website at: www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/scams-and-identity-theft/identity-theft/