Wells Fargo & Co., the second-largest U.S. mortgage lender, said Friday that a computer containing confidential data about mortgage customers and prospective customers was missing and may have been stolen.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which has more than 23 million customers, said "a global express shipping company" had been delivering the computer from one of the bank's facilities to another.
The missing data include names, addresses, Social Security numbers and mortgage loan deposit numbers.
Wells Fargo said there was no indication that anyone had misused or accessed the data without authorization.
It also said the computer had two security levels, making criminal activity difficult. Law enforcement officials believe "this may have been a theft for the hardware, not for information," it said.
Alejandro Hernandez, a spokesman for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, declined to say how many customers were affected, which delivery company was involved, when the data went missing or when the bank learned about the problem.
"We apologize about the situation and want to work with customers to reduce any potential risk," Hernandez said in an interview.
Hernandez said Wells Fargo was offering affected customers a one-year credit monitoring service at no cost and setting up a dedicated phone line. The bank began alerting customers by mail Friday, he said.