Consumer Alert: Countrywide customers at risk for identity theft - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Consumer Alert: Countrywide customers at risk for identity theft

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MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Philip Vallejos of Middleton opened his mail on Tuesday and got a big surprise. His mortgage lender, Countywide, warned him one of its ex-employees stole his personal and financial information and sold it on the black market.

"I'm outraged and shocked. Who would've thought this would happen, that your mortgage lender would have its employees doing this?" asked Vallejos.

Countrywide says it's since fired the employee and has been cooperating with the FBI.

The company will not say how many customers could be at risk for identity theft, citing the on-going federal investigation. It promised Vallejos in the letter to pay for two years of credit monitoring.

Identity theft is a growing problem in Wisconsin. In just the last several years, organizations across all sectors of society reported major security breaches. The Federal Trade Commission reports 2,536 Wisconsin residents were victims of identity theft in 2006.

Send comments to Dan Cassuto at dcassuto@wkowtv.com

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