Possible Western Union customer data theft
Jul 19,2007 00:00 by UPI
NEW YORK -- The U.S. wire-transfer company Western Union admitted that a computer file with thousands of customers' personal information was seen by an unauthorized party.

The New York Post said personal data from more than 20,000 people had been viewed. Western Union said the file "containing this information was viewed by an unauthorized party but (we) have no evidence that it was downloaded or copied."

The viewed file included customers' names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card information, the Post said.

Company spokeswoman Sherry Johnson said Western Union's security measures "allowed us to detect the unauthorized access in a very short period of time and, upon detection, to immediately shut it down."

The Post, in a report Tuesday, said the incident occurred in May and Johnson told the newspaper none of the information had been used for illegal purposes since then.

The Post said that Western Union began informing its customers of the theft July 6 and has offered those customers targeted by the crime a free year of credit monitoring.

Johnson said Western Union was working with federal and local authorities in the investigation of the incident.

"I can assure you that consumer data security is of the utmost importance to Western Union," Johnson said in a statement.

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