Credit Union Mistake Exposes Customers' Information Online

Close to 86,000 customers are affected as a result of an employee's error

By Greg Cergol
|  Thursday, Jun 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:28 AM EDT
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Thousands of customers at one Long Island bank had their personal information posted publicly following an employee's error. Greg Cergol reports.

NBC New York

Thousands of customers at one Long Island bank had their personal information posted publicly following an employee's error. Greg Cergol reports.

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A credit union whose motto boasts it's "better than a bank" had customers thinking otherwise after exposing their personal information online for a month.

"How does something like this happen?" asked Bonnie Leuci outside the Bethpage Federal Credit Union's headquarters in Bethpage. 

Leuci, of Hicksville, was among close to 86,000 credit union customers who had their names, addresses, dates of birth and bank account numbers posted online between May 3 and June 3.

Credit union president Kirk Kordeleski said an employee inadvertently put the personal data in a file that was not secure, exposing customers' personal information. The mistake was discovered when the son of a bank employee stumbled on the information while searching Google.

The credit union sent out e-mails and letters to alert customers.

"We take this very seriously and are very sorry this happened," Kordeleski said.

Kordeleski said no customers have lost money as a result of the mistake.

But Leuci, a credit union customer for about 15 years, wondered why it took so long for the bank to realize its error.

"A whole month, and now you're finding out?" she said. "People could be wiped out in a week."

The credit union is offering its customers a year of free credit card monitoring as protection. No Social Security numbers or credit card security numbers were compromised, said credit union officials.

"What are you going to do?" said customer Florence Romano.  "Once in a while people make a mistake, but they took care of it and life goes on."

The employee responsible for the error has resigned, according to Kordeleski, and the credit union's security measures are all under review.

Still, customers say they will be watching their accounts very closely in the days to come.

"You just don't think it's going to happen with your bank," Leuci said.

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