Identity theft case could affect 500,000 people

The U.S. Department of the Treasury believes that the identify theft case involving four banks could be the largest breach of banking security in the U.S.

Hackensack, N.J. police investigation alleges that DRL Associates Inc. was set up to find individuals and as a collection agency, but was not properly licensed for those activities. Upper level bank employees working for Wachovia, Bank of America, Commerce Bankcorp and PNC Bank were hired by DRL Associates to access names, account numbers and balances from banks. This information was sold to more than 40 collection agencies, law firms and others. Police are now investigating these companies.

Fran Durst, a spokesperson for Wachovia, said the Hackensack police released 300,000 of the 500,000 people whose information have been stolen. These customers have been notified and their accounts are on the watch list for fraud detection.

The ring has been in operation for four years with profits reaching several million dollars. [ComputerWorld]