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Wells Fargo data breach revealed

From the Associated Press

Wells Fargo & Co. is notifying about 5,000 people that their personal information might have been seen by someone using a bank access code illegally.

A bank spokeswoman said Tuesday that MicroBilt Corp., a consumer data vendor, told Wells Fargo on July 1 that there was unusual activity on one of the bank’s access codes.

The activity was particularly suspicious because Wells Fargo no longer uses that vendor for consumer information.

“We notified law enforcement right away,” said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Berg, adding that it appeared the unauthorized activity occurred in May and June.

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“A full investigation is underway,” she said.

The bank is sending letters to the list of about 7,000 names -- which will probably end up being closer to 5,000 after duplicates are eliminated, Berg said -- and offering those individuals a free one-year membership to Identity Guard, an identity theft protection service.

The bank is also recommending that the individuals affected -- most of whom are not Wells Fargo customers -- set up an alert with the credit bureaus and review their accounts for suspicious activity.

This breach is not the first for the San Francisco-based bank, which in 2006 experienced two data breach incidents.

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