WILMINGTON, Del. Sept. 7, 2006 Chase Card Services today announced that it is notifying 2.6 million current and former Circuit City credit card account holders that computer tapes containing their personal information were mistakenly identified as trash and thrown out. Working closely with federal and local law enforcement, Chase conducted a thorough investigation and believes that the tapes, contained within a locked box, were compacted, destroyed and are buried in a landfill where the trash was taken.
Chase has been monitoring all of the affected accounts and has not identified any misuse of personal information connected to this occurrence. No other Chase accounts are involved in this incident.
"We deeply regret that this has occurred and apologize to those impacted," said Rich Srednicki, chief executive officer of Chase Card Services, which issues co-branded and private-label credit cards for Circuit City. "We have found no evidence that the tapes or their contents have been accessed or misused. The privacy of our customers' personal information is of utmost importance to us, and we take the responsibility to safeguard this information very seriously."
To prevent a similar incident in the future, Chase has strengthened a number of security procedures and is currently conducting a comprehensive review of all data storage and protection processes. In addition, Chase will continue to closely monitor all affected accounts.
Notification to affected individuals began today and should be completed over the next two to three weeks. A one-year, free credit monitoring service is being offered to individuals whose Social Security number was on the tapes.
As always, account holders are not liable for unauthorized transactions. Affected individuals are encouraged to contact one of the three national credit bureaus to place a free 90-day fraud alert on their personal file and request a copy of their credit report to help safeguard their information.
"We take responsibility for this and are making every effort to let affected cardmembers know what we are doing and what we suggest they do to protect themselves," added Srednicki. "We want our customers to have the support they need to monitor their credit and know how to respond should they identify any problems."
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Chase Card Services is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. The company has more than 100 million credit cards issued. Under the Chase and JPMorgan brands, the firm serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. Information about the firm is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.