Just when you thought it was safe to work at Wal-Mart...

New Wal-Mart associates are now at a higher risk of stolen identities due to the theft of a computer from a subcontracted firm in Denver.

Yesterday I and many or all Wal-Mart employees hired since February 1st, 2006 received by mail a notice that Wal-Mart learned Affiliated Computer Services had one of their computers stolen from a Denver facility. This computer is believed to contain names, addresses, and SSNs of Wal-Mart associates hired within the past eight months. This security breach is also indicated to affect other companies, but none were named. A transcript follows.

Dear [specifically named associate]:

Under a federal law created to enforce child support obligations, all employers - including Wal-Mart - are required to provide information to the government on all newly hired associates. For the last nine years, Wal-Mart has fulfilled this duty by providing new hire information to the New Hires Directory of Colorado, which compiles this information for all 50 states, using the services of their subcontractor names Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).

We learned last week that ACS experienced a security breach involving a computer stolen from its Denver office. We believe it is very important to report this information to you. According to ACS, this computer may have contained the names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers of employees of many companies - including some Wal-Mart associates hired in the last eight months, whether or not they live in Colorado.

At this time, ACS has told us there is no indication that anyone's identity has been compromised or that the computer was stolen for that purpose. Law enforcement agencies are investigating this matter. If you were hired after Feb. 1, 2006, ACS has informed us that it may notify you by mail about the incident and include precautions to follow if you believe that your identity has been compromised, and a toll-free number for any further questions. In the meantime, we have attached information about how you may check your credit reports for free. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) provides helpful information regarding identity and credit protection.

If you have questions after receiving this letter and ACS notification, feel free to contact ACS at its toll-free number or speak with your supervisor, manager, or HR director.

Thank you.


The People Division.

An interesting thing to note is that this apparently came by way of Sam's Club headquarters, and not Wal-Mart's Home Office itself. Though not clearly stated in the letter, this does apparently affect Sam's employees too, since someone I know who worked at Sam's Club in the indicated timeframe got one of these letters yesterday as well.


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