Ameriprise Financial notifies 158,000 clients of data theft |

Ameriprise Financial notifies 158,000 clients of data theft

MINNEAPOLIS – Ameriprise Financial Inc. said Wednesday it has notified about 158,000 clients that their names and internal account identification numbers were stored on a laptop computer that was stolen from an employee’s vehicle.Ameriprise said it also notified current and former financial advisers whose names and Social Security numbers were also stored on the same computer. A company statement did not say how many past or current employees were affected. The company says it has more than 2 million customers and about 10,500 financial advisers.The Minneapolis-based company said it had received no reports that the data lost in the theft had been used improperly. Ameriprise is the name of the former American Express Financial Advisors division, which New York-based American Express Co. spun off last fall.Ameriprise said the theft appeared to be a “random criminal act” and that it has been working with law enforcement to recover the laptop, which it said was stolen recently from an employee’s locked vehicle that was parked offsite.Company representatives did not immediately calls seeking further comment.Ameriprise said there was no other client-identifying information on the computer such as Social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers or birth dates. The computer did not have data on accounts outside of Ameriprise, such as credit card numbers or bank account information.It also said the client accounts could not be accessed with the information that was stored on the computer because Ameriprise does not allow access via account numbers alone without additional personal information provided only by the client.Ameriprise is offering the affected current and former employees a free credit monitoring program for a year.Vail, Colorado

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