Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Theft jeopardizes First Bank customer data

Express Staff Writer

Wood River Valley-based First Bank of Idaho has taken precautionary steps to protect its customers following the theft of computer equipment from a California company that processes the bank's data.

In a statement issued Tuesday, First Bank acknowledged that computer equipment containing customer information was stolen March 20 from Fiserv, Inc. One desktop computer taken in the heist contained personal data on some of the bank's loan accounts.

First Bank CEO Jim Latta said it appears the thieves were after the hardware rather than the data. "It would be hard for them to decipher, but the data was there," Latta said Tuesday.

Latta said First Bank is concerned about misuse of the personal information. "We think it's highly unlikely, but we're always concerned when there's the potential for identity theft."

He said information on customer deposit accounts was not on the stolen hardware.

Affected loan customers have been notified by the bank, Latta said. First Bank has arranged a free 12-month monitoring program that offers customers unlimited access to their credit reports, $50,000 in identity theft insurance, alerts to changes in credit status and access to fraud resolution representatives.

"We don't think there's going to be any risk at all, but we sort of went over the top to protect our clients," Latta said.

Customers with questions can contact Latta at (208) 725-0329.

First Bank of Idaho is headquartered in Ketchum. The bank has branches in Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum and in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming.

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