3.9 Million CitiFinancial Customers’ Info Lost

    June 7, 2005
    Chris Crum

Citigroup reported yesterday that tapes containing information of about 3.9 million customers were lost by United Parcel Service (UPS) as they were in transit to a credit bureau.

The tapes contained information about customers of Citigroup’s CitiFinancial branch in the U.S. as well as customers with accounts that were closed from CitiFinancial Retail Services.

“We deeply regret this incident, which occurred in spite of the enhanced security procedures we require of our couriers,” stated Kevin Kessinger, executive vice president of Citigroup. “There is little risk of the accounts being compromised because customers have already received their loans, and no additional credit may be obtained from CitiFinancial without prior approval of our customers, either by initiating a new application or by providing positive proof of identification.”

3.9 Million CitiFinancial Customers' Info Lost

The company said that no information from CitiFinancial Auto, CitiFinancial Mortgage or any other Citigroup business was on any of the tapes that were lost. As the Washington Post explains,

It was the latest in a series of data losses or breaches that have forced financial institutions and other data collectors to warn customers that their personal information may be at risk.

Last month, media and entertainment company Time Warner Inc. said that computer backup tapes containing data on 600,000 individuals were lost by an outside data storage firm.

Ameritrade, Bank of America, Polo Ralph Lauren, DSW Shoe Warehouse, ChoicePoint, and LexisNexis have all had similar problems in recent memory.

Citigroup hopes to avoid problems like this in the future. Kessinger says that “Beginning in July, this data will be sent electronically in encrypted form.”

CitiFinancial has begun notifying the 3.9 million customers whose data was compromised. The tapes reportedly tapes contained Social Security numbers and payment histories.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.