Lost computer data prompts firm to notify 3,500

March 26, 2008

By Liz F. Kay, Sun reporter


A Pittsburgh-based shareholder services firm has notified about 3,500 individuals -- some of them Maryland residents -- that the company lost a box of computer data tapes last month storing personal information including names, Social Security numbers and possibly bank account numbers, a spokesman said Wednesday.

BNY Mellon Shareowner Services, which assists clients such as MetLife, sent letters to affected shareholders of such clients offering them 12 months of free credit monitoring and other assistance, according to a letter received by one affected investor.

"We have received no indications that there's been any inappropriate use of the data on the tapes," said Ron Sommer, a spokesman for the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

The company backs up its computer database every day and sends the tapes to a secure storage facility, he said. On Feb. 27, a courier told them that one box could not be found.

BNY Mellon investigated to determine what kind of information the tapes held and notified its clients. It then sent a letter to the shareholders. The company estimates that less than 1 percent of its 35 million clients nationwide have been affected, and fewer than 1 percent of the affected shareholders live in Maryland, Sommer said.

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