CHARLESTON, SC (CBSMiami) – If you’re a new customer of Wells Fargo bank, better check your latest bank statement. It may have information from someone else’s bank account on your document, and your information may be on someone else’s statement, according to the bank. Customers in Florida and South Carolina are affected.
An undetermined number of new Wells Fargo bank customers in South Carolina and Florida received portions of other customers’ bank statements in the mail this week, and a bank spokesman said Thursday the matter is being considered a security breach.
Some South Florida Wells Fargo customers said they’re concerned.
“I’m taking tranquilizers as it is and all I need is a statement that’s all mixed up,” customer Betty Hooks said.
Bank spokesman Josh Dunn said he couldn’t say how many accounts were affected. Dunn also couldn’t confirm 30,000 affected customers that a Wells Fargo employee estimated for one South Carolina customer.
Dunn attributed the error to a single malfunctioning printer in Charlotte, N.C., which apparently put multiple customers’ account and transaction information on pages, or even single pages, of one statement.
Although Dunn wouldn’t say when the bank learned of the problem, Wells Fargo customers told reporters that they received their misprinted statements on Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t want anybody getting my statement and I definitely don’t want to get anybody else’s statement,” customer Rozen Patterson said
In many cases, customers’ names and account and routing numbers ended up in the hands of strangers. In some cases, where people have set up direct deposit of their paychecks to their accounts, Social Security numbers also ended up on the printouts, Dunn said.
“And that’s why we’re treating this matter as an information security breach,” he said, adding, “any type of fraud related to this matter” will be fully reimbursed.”
Wells Fargo Florida’s Christina Smotryski issued a statement saying,” The document mix-up affected only customers who received printed mail in September. Online accounts are not affected. Those affected will receive one year’s worth of free ID protection.”
Doug Jenkins, 74, a retired engineer who lives on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, received his bank statement Wednesday afternoon, the first since Wells Fargo completed its takeover of Wachovia, Jenkins’ former bank. Inside, behind a cover letter, was someone else’s statement. Jenkins thought it was a sample. But then he recognized the name on the statement, if not the account number and transactions that were also printed.
“And as it happens, I know the person, or my wife does, and I called him,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins eventually called Wells Fargo himself and learned from the “very apologetic” woman who answered the phone that he was hardly alone.
If your September statement is incorrect, the company said the correct version is already in the mail, along with a note of apology.