Citibank exposes 600,000 customers to potential identity theft

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 By

Do you remember the series of commercials Citibank produced about identity theft? You will probably find them somewhat less than entertaining if you are one of the 600,000 Citibank customers whose Social Security number was printed on the outside of the postal envelope containing your year-end tax statement. “Identity theft? What’s that?” exclaims an incredulous banker. “Does it have to do with credit cards?”

Citibank sent the letters on February 16

The company is calling it a “processing error,” according to the Chicago Tribune. The numbers appear at the lower edge of the envelope with other numbers and letters. So it isn’t as obvious as problem flatulence, but it is definitely a bit of a brain fart on the part of Citibank, Citigroup and everyone else in the Citi family. But don’t worry; Citibank Client Services Director Norman Wright sent letters to all 600,000 customers in an effort to clean up the mess. He extended an offer for free credit monitoring for 180 days. Unfortunately, now that forgers know to wait 180 days, perhaps that isn’t enough. They could be using your Social Security number to take out money loans.

The error produced “little to no risk” to Citibank customers?

Talk about spin control by Citibank. Citigroup and its board of directors must be proud, and shareholders must be exceedingly happy that the company is so deftly handling the situation. In Wright’s apology letter he says as much, that there is “little or no risk.” Isn’t it comforting to know that your bank is actively lying to you, Citibank customers? How could there be little or no risk if unauthorized people are getting hold of your Social Security number?

If you’re a Citibank customer, are you satisfied with their offer?

Personal Money Market would love to know your thoughts on the matter.

(Photo Credit: / CC BY 2.0)

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