MoneyGram says consumer info accessed

January 12, 2007

Associated Press

MoneyGram International Inc., a global payment services provider, announced Friday that a company server with consumer information for about 79,000 bill payment customers was unlawfully accessed over the Internet last month.

The company said that it had not been able to determine if any information was actually stolen, but the company was notifying customers that someone may have viewed their personal data.

The information involved did not include Social Security or driver's license numbers. It did include the names, addresses, phone numbers -- and in some cases -- the bank account numbers of MoneyGram customers.

State and federal regulations required that customers be notified, the company said.

"It was an isolated incident involving only those consumers who made payments to a single biller, and we are working with law enforcement in the investigation," said Vicki Keller, a MoneyGram vice president, in a prepared statement.

She said the company had added security measures in hopes that a similar incident doesn't happen again. "We regret the inconvenience that this may cause," Keller said.

In its announcement, MoneyGram did not provide the name of the biller involved. A call to a company spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Affected consumers were being offered a free one-year subscription to a credit monitoring service, the company said.

The breach is among the latest involving private companies, government departments and universities. Last month, the University of California, Los Angeles alerted about 800,000 people who were currently or formerly part of the university that certain personal information were exposed after a hacker broke into a campus computer system.

A stolen Veterans Affairs laptop contained information on 26.5 million veterans -- although the data hadn't been accessed when the laptop was recovered last year -- and a hacker into the Nebraska child-support computer system may have gotten data on 300,000 people and 9,000 employers.

main page ATTRITION feedback