Computer With Bank Customers' Info Sold On eBay

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A British man bought a computer on eBay for $65, and when he turned it on, he found the names, addresses, credit card numbers, account numbers, mother's maiden names, even signatures for a million customers of big financial institutions.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And our last word in business today comes from eBay, which says don't forget to erase the hard drive. A British man recently bought a computer on eBay for $65. He turned it on and found the names, addresses, credit card numbers, account numbers, mother's maiden names, even signatures for a million customers of big financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Scotland and American Express. Turns out the computer used to belong to a digital archiving firm, which stores data for these financial companies. A former employee of the archiving firm sold the computer without removing the information.

Fortunately, the buyer was an honest chap. After noticing the sensitive information he contacted the authorities. And plenty of authorities are now investigating. eBay says it wouldn't allow people to openly sell bank details on its site, quote, "but this seems to have been a genuine mistake."

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