Some new Wells Fargo customers in South Carolina and Florida received a surprise in this week’s mail: An estimated 30,000 got statements belonging to other customers.
The misdirected statements in many instances included account and routing numbers, some transactions, and for customers who had established direct deposit of paychecks, Social Security numbers may also have been disclosed, admitted Wells Fargo spokesperson Josh Dunn in an interview
The bank pointed to a malfunctioning printer in Charlotte, N.C., as the cause of this significant security breech.
Press reports – citing a comment apparently made by a bank employee to an inquiring customer – said that 30,000 Wells Fargo customers are impacted. The bank declined to confirm that number.
All impacted customers are onetime Wachovia customers who, after the Wells Fargo merger, now are Wells Fargo customers. The changeover in the South Carolina region was completed last month. Dunn denied the changeover had anything to do with the snafu, however.
"We deeply regret that we have let our customers down and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused," Dunn told Credit Union Times. "Though we believe the risk of compromising a customer's account is low, we are providing all customers whose statements were printed by the malfunctioning printer with one year's worth of free ID theft protection."
Local news reports in the region on Friday cited many customers who expressed confusion, uncertainty and later anger and fear as they realized they had received statements belonging to others.