Stolen BofA laptop held employee data

April 12, 2007

By Rick Rothacker

A stolen Bank of America Corp. laptop has resulted in lost personal information of current, former and retired employees, according to a letter sent this week to those affected.

The letter said a "limited" number of people were affected, but the Charlotte bank on Thursday would not provide a number. Employees at various levels of the company were affected, spokesman Scott Silvestri said.

The lost data included names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, but there is no sign the information has been misused, according to an April 10 letter obtained by the Observer. The bank is offering a free credit monitoring service for two years to those affected.

The bank employs more than 203,000 worldwide, including about 15,000 in the Charlotte area. A former employee who received the letter Thursday said he appreciated the warning.

"It's not the kind of letter you want to get," said the former employee, who did not want his name used because of the sensitivity of the matter. "But it's nice they let me know."

The lost laptop comes amid rising concern about the theft of personal information and its potential misuse. Scammers can use stolen data to open new accounts or tap existing ones.

According to the letter, the laptop was stolen when an employee was a "victim of a recent break-in." Silvestri said he could not provide further information because the crime is under investigation.

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