Bank warns of possible ID theft


Laura Elder

Texas First Bank is notifying about 4,000 customers that their personal information could have been compromised when thieves last month stole a laptop computer during a car theft in Dallas.

But officials say there’s no cause for alarm and that the bank is taking measures to protect affected customers against identity theft.

They said the odds that thieves have been able to retrieve any information from the laptop are low.

The laptop had a heavily secure password and was equipped with technology designed to prevent unauthorized access, said Matt Doyle, vice chairman of the Texas City-based bank.

Officials say they have no reason to believe thieves were after the information in the laptop.

“Based upon feedback from law enforcement, we do not believe the laptop was the target of the theft as other personal effects were stolen,” the bank wrote in a June 15 letter to customers.

Officials say the laptop owned by S1 Corp., the bank’s former online banking vendor, was stolen on May 19.

S1 notified Texas First immediately, Doyle said, adding that the bank began notifying customers as soon as it knew who was affected.

“We’re very open and transparent with our customers,” he said.

Texas First had changed online banking vendors in March but still was in the process of converting data, Doyle said.

Information such as account numbers, social security numbers, names and addresses may have been stored in the S1 computer, according to the letter.

Texas First said it is offering a free 24-month membership to Equifax Credit Watch, an identity-theft protection service, to customers who might have been affected by the theft.

The service alerts customers to changes in their Equifax credit file. Among other measures, the bank also is offering to pay for $20,000 in identity-theft insurance with no deductible to customers whose information could have been compromised. The bank also is monitoring accounts.

So far, no customers whose information was in the laptop have reported problems, Doyle said.

Texas First Bank has 19 locations in Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers and Jefferson counties.

main page ATTRITION feedback