Consumers Confused Over Letters from
BNY Mellon Shareowner Services
September 25, 2008 – BBB staff is busy answering calls today from local residents who are concerned about notices they received which indicate their Social Security numbers and other personal information may be at risk. The notice from BNY Mellon Shareowner Services states that computer tapes containing this information were lost while being transported to an off-site archive storage facility. The letter also contains offers for 24 months of free credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and reimbursement for the costs of a credit report freeze and removal. A toll free phone number is provided for more information as well as links to web sites.
One woman’s comments were typical of those voiced by other consumers. “I thought this might be a scam,” she told the BBB. “I was afraid to call the toll free number and give them any information. I thought they might be trying to get my name and other things.” Another said she was concerned because, “I had no idea who the company was and the date I got the letter in the mail was the same date the letter was written. Those two things raised red flags for me.”
The BBB has confirmed that the letters are legitimate. Recipients are confused because they don’t recall ever doing business with BNY Mellon Shareowner Services. The reason? BNY Mellon Shareholder Services performs services on behalf of other companies. Their clients include issuers of securities, such as publicly held corporations. They also administer employee stock option plans.
BNY Mellon Shareowner Services is mailing millions of similar letters across the country. BNY Mellon Shareowner Services spokesperson, Kevin Heine, told the BBB, “While there has been no indication that the data on the lost tapes has been misused in any way, we are offering comprehensive fraud protection to all affected individuals as a precaution.” The company has posted more information at www.bnymellon.com/tapequery.
There are many ways to reduce your risk of identity theft. One step is to shred documents that contain personal information.