December 20, 2005
ABN AMRO Mortgage Group says it has recovered a computer tape that was lost last month while being transported by DHL Courier to a credit reporting service. The company is offering its customers one year of free credit monitoring.
The company said the tape included the names, account information, payment history and Social Security numbers of about two million of its customers. It was being shipped from ABN AMRO's Chicago data center to the credit reporting company Experian on Nov. 18 when it was lost. The company said today that the tape was recovered yesterday.
DHL said the package was found without the original airbill. DHL staff opened the package, found the return address on the tape, and repackaged the tape with a new airbill.
"We deeply regret that this situation occurred and are keenly aware of how important your personal information is to you," Thomas M. Goldstein, Chairman and CEO, said in a letter to customers dated Dec. 16, before the tape was recovered.
Goldstein's letter said that the company was offering affected customers 90 days of free credit monitoring by TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, to help ensure that the missing data was not misused. The offer was later extended to one year after customers protested.
"We are pleased that the tape has been located and returned to us," Goldstein said in a statement. "Although we have no reason to believe that the tape was compromised, we feel it is always a good practice for consumers to monitor their credit activity on a regular basis and we continue to encourage customers who received written notification of this incident to sign up for the free credit monitoring service we have arranged."
"As we learned about this situation, we immediately began an investigation and asked DHL to search for the tape and to investigate the loss. We also alerted federal law enforcement," Goldstein said. "We are carefully reviewing this incident and will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it does not happen again."
ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc. is one of the largest loan originators and loan servicers in the United States. It has about 3,000 employees located throughout the United States.