One (very bad) way to get a targeted list

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Big news broke today that a Countrywide Bank employee had been selling off customer records at about 2.5 cents a pop.

The good (or not as bad) news is that the information -- which included Social Security numbers -- wasn't being sold to identity thieves, according to preliminary reports. Instead, the accused employee had been selling Countrywide's clients to other mortgage brokers -- and raking in as much as $70,000 in profit.

This just seems out of control on so many levels. Sure, it's difficult for financial services providers to nab good clients, butm, really, who would knowingly buy stolen names? Especially when these names, far from being easy pickings, already belong to a competitor?

I'll be following up with the bank about its security/customer-soothing efforts tomorrow, so stay tuned. And of course, if any of the illicit buyers is outed, we'll follow up on that too.

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