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Bank Data Breach via Coin Wrappers

Way back during the holidays, my wife and I visited our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson who live in Florida. (My son-in-law works at one of the state parks.) During our visit, my daughter shared a surprising data breach experience.

Like many people, they collect their spare change during the year, then sort and insert pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters into the appropriate coin wrappers. As a young family with infant children, they are on a tight budget and exchange the coins for paper bills at their local bank branch. The nearby supermarkets and big box stores have vending machines which charge a fee.

While depositing their last collection of coins, thee bank teller asked them to write their name and account number on the coin wrappers. They did that and thought nothing about it.

The state park, where my son-in-law works, regularly gets its supply of coins from a local bank. My son-in-law noticed that coins the park received were delivered in coin wrappers that had bank customers ' account information written on the coin wrappers: name and checking account number. It was unclear who wrote the account information on the coin wrappers: the bank's customers or employees.

While I appreciate the bank's environment-friendly spirit to recycle, it should not be a the expense of data security. This is a data breach since cashiers at the state park had access to bank customers' account information via coin wrappers. Clearly, the bank should destroy and not recycle coin wrappers that have customers' bank account information written on them.

So, a word to the wise. when you deposit coins at your bank branch, ask the teller how they handle used coin wrappers. Does your bank branch write sensitive account information on its coin wrappers? And if so, do they destroy those wrappers afterwards? If you can't get a answer, ask to speak with the bank's branch manager. Tell the branch manager that you are concerned about maintaining the security of your account information.


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Bizarre. I just came across some old coin wrappers this weekend and considered using them to collect the pounds of spare change I have stashed around my house. Thanks for the tip!

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