Bryan Cohen Oct. 15, 2012, 6:18pm

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Friday that TD Bank lost unencrypted back-up tapes containing personal information for more than 73,000 customers in Massachusetts.

TD Bank is sending notices to more than 267,000 potentially affected consumers around the country whose account information and Social Security numbers may have been leaked. The company lost two data tapes containing the information in March.

"The loss of these tapes potentially puts the personal information of thousands of Massachusetts consumers at risk, and we remind consumers to take appropriate steps to protect themselves," Coakley said. "We will be reviewing the circumstances of this breach and the steps that TD Bank is taking to address the loss."

TD Bank said that no misuse of personal information has occurred, but it cannot rule out the potential of misuse. The bank sent letters to Massachusetts consumers on Friday about the breach and how it plans to address the loss of the tapes.

Personal information of Massachusetts residents included on the tapes may contain account number, name, address, Social Security number and other data elements, including driver's license numbers and dates of birth.

Coakley suggested that Massachusetts consumers take advantage of the credit monitoring service offered by the bank, not respond to unsolicited mailings, telephone calls or emails that ask for credit card or bank account information, and carefully review and monitor credit card and financial accounts for unauthorized activity.

Residents of Massachusetts can also call one of the three major credit bureaus to place a one-call fraud alert on their credit reports and order a copy of their credit report to look for unauthorized activity. If residents see unexplained credit report activity, they can place an extended fraud alert or a security freeze on the report.

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