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October, 2007
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October
Rachel
Rachel October 25, 2007 1:26pm
Before my company was bought out, we used a company called administaff to handle payroll and benefits. Yesterday, I received a letter stating that a laptop had "gone missing" (all by itself the clever thing!) that had all my info (ssn, birthdate, address, bank and routing no, mother's maiden name...) this info was not encrypted, even though it is supposed to be, nor should it ever have been on a laptop. Administaff is a big company that is publicly traded, not some little mom and pop shop. They offered one year credit monitering with protection up to $2,500 with a $250 deductible. Oh, and this offer not valid for citizens of New York. This happened to most, if not all of my company. Sigh. I'm gonna have to find a lawyer.
Comments: 4
Carrie - (October 26, 2007 10:15am)
That is crazy! I am so sorry. The $2,500 would cover nothing if someone decided to wipe out your accounts. They have to do better than that.
Joshua - (October 26, 2007 11:33pm)
there must be some sort of class action suit of New Yorkers that you can join; this event as you've described it is impermissibly outrageous.
Anthony - (October 27, 2007 12:11pm)
call your bank and find out what sort of protection they offer. many larger ones will protect you financially in such cases, or allow you to request approval on any transfers to new destinations. dealing with your financial institution directly is likely your safest bet; go through a bit more hassle now and it could save you major headaches down the road. if your FI doesn't offer any sort of protection or can't restrict transfers, you should likely get a new FI (even without this incident).
the entire system is astoundingly fragile anyway. literally all the information I need to initiate a transfer from your bank account is right there on every check you hand out. all i need is the routing number and account number. that's it - i don't even need your name. scary, huh? all that protects folks from widescale theft is the traceability of the transactions and the legal threat of incarceration for fraud. credit/debit cards are a bit better, but not much.
the principle itself (security through transparency and auditability) isn't totally crazy - it's the same one coop, née bank, uses - but it certainly seems like systems which can grab your actual money and take it away should have better safeguards. the ACH network (what bank transfers use) also isn't a particularly good example of the principle: "transparency"? the issue is just getting someone to pay for a major network overhaul.
Rachel - (October 27, 2007 1:31pm)
Yeah, my financial institution said it was probably best to change all my account numbers, which I have done. Huge pain in the ass and there were lots of little things which of course didn't get done correctly. I have Bank of America and have been very satisfied with them at every turn, so at least there is that. They took care of things quickly, but there were some problems with my online bill pay and debit card, which took some headaches, but I worked out. I have placed 90 day fraud alerts with the credit agencies and I am going to write letters to get a 7 year fraud alert put on there. The check issue is the main reason that I almost never write checks except to one doctor.

As for the class action, we are looking into that. The unbelievably stupid thing is, most people at my company don't think this is that big of a deal!!!! Oh, the company handled our insurance as well, so they have access to all my medical records as well. Lovely. So I am dealing with this slowly but surely. Not sure how much we can accomplish with a class action, only because no money has gone missing as yet. But these peole usually wait awhile before using the info. Not sure really how to instigate one either. But I am asking around.