Personal banking info goes missing

June 14, 2007

By Jenn Marshall, The news Bulletin

Personal and financial information of about 120,000 Coastal Community Credit Union members could be in jeopardy.

Data tapes that the credit union moves from site to site to do computer backups were stolen from the courier company that transports them, said Garth Sheane, CCCU president and CEO.

But the credit union is confident the thieves cannot access the information on the tapes, as specialized commercial software is needed.

The tapes were stolen while a courier truck was parked and locked in Nanaimo on May 23.

The tapes contain files with selected personal and financial information, such as name, address, date of birth, social insurance number, member number, ATM/debit card number, credit card number, and/or balances.

Sheane said the tapes don't have PIN numbers, personal access codes for Internet or telephone banking, expiry dates or codes for credit cards, security code-words for in-branch access and identification information.

"[The thieves] couldn't access accounts that require PIN numbers and identification codes," he said.

But Sheane said fraudsters could still exploit the information, which is why the credit union has issued an advisory to each member.

"I think that's what would be in the top of the minds of most people - identity theft," said Sheane.

"I don't believe anyone is going to have the ability to access the data on those tapes," he said. "We're concentrating our efforts on informing our members."

Members can call 1-866-357-7544 or visit for more information.

CCCU urges members to review account activity regularly, periodically check credit reports and never respond to an e-mail requesting confirmation of account information.

Sheane said CCCU had outside parties review the bank's procedures for transporting the information.

"There are some changes we're contemplating," he said.

Const. Jen Allan, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman, said the information was held back while police investigated.

"It's fair to say that in an investigation of this nature we initiate certain investigational procedures that could potentially be negatively impacted from extensive media coverage," she said.

"We do have a file and got a lot of resources working the file, trying to determine who broke into the vehicle."

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