US bank Wells Fargo has said a computer containing confidential data about mortgage customers has gone missing and may have been stolen, triggering the latest identity theft scare in corporate America.
Wells Fargo said an unnamed shipping company had been moving the computer from one of the company’s facilities to another location, before it went missing.
The missing machine contains data that includes the names, addresses, social security numbers and mortgage loan numbers of customers.
The bank said data on the machine was protected but has not said how many customers could be are affected by the theft, which delivery company was involved, and when the data went missing.
The company said that law enforcement agencies believed the machine may have been stolen for its hardware rather than for the data.
Despite this, Wells Fargo is contacting the customers whose details were on the machine to warn them of a possible identity theft risk, and to offer them free credit checking services.
US financial companies Citigroup, Bank of America, and Washington Mutual have all reported data thefts or losses in recent months.