Opps! Citi Exclusive: Citi skimps on “standard” customer monitoring

Reuters, By Maria Aspan and Ross Kerber, June 24, 2011

After a massive data breach last month, Citigroup did not offer its hacked clients the same degree of identity-theft protection that many other companies provide, drawing criticism from privacy advocates. Citigroup, which had over 360,000 credit card accounts exposed last month, sent letters to affected customers this month with advice on protecting themselves against identity theft. But unlike other large U.S. companies breached by cybercriminals, Citigroup did not offer to buy or give all affected customers a year of preventive credit file monitoring services, according to a sample of a letter the bank sent to many customers and filed with regulators in Maine. A year of monitoring has become a standard offering from large companies after customer information is hacked, to reassure clients and to protect them from identity theft, privacy and consumer advocates said. “Consumers might want to turn to Citibank and ask them to do more. It’s become pretty commonplace to offer credit monitoring these days,” Ruth Susswein, the deputy director of national priorities for Consumer Action, told Reuters. “That’s really the standard thing they can do,” she said. The bank did remind consumers they could place a fraud alert on their credit files, which tells lenders to contact consumers before allowing an account to be opened in their name.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-citigroup-databreach-idUSTRE75N2AL20110624

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