Bank of America began notifying customers of the incident recently, but is not providing many details of the case which is still under investigation. The theft, “involved a now former associate who provided customer information to people outside the bank, who then used the information to commit fraud against our customers,” said Bank of America spokeswoman Colleen Haggerty, in an email message.
“The bank lost at least $10 million to the criminals,” said James Kollar, a special agent with U.S. Secret Service in Los Angeles. “There was information that was coming from the bank to the outsiders,” he said. “It was basically a check scam.”
Details of the fraud were reported in the Los Angeles Times this week, which reported that the scammers had stolen, “names, addresses, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, email addresses, mother’s maiden names, PINs and account balances.”
It appears that this information was then used for identity theft. According to one victim, quoted in the LA Times story, the scammers ordered boxes of checks and had them delivered to a UPS outlet where they would then pick them up. They also allegedly contacted the victim’s telephone company and — to prevent BofA from warning the victim — rerouted calls to the scammers’ mobile phone.
They also allegedly contacted the bank via telephone and moved more of the victim’s money into the account they controlled. All told, they stole more than $20,000 from this one victim.