In April 2005, Ameritrade reported that several tapes with customer information were lost… After the tape incident, Ameritrade notified me of the possible breach and I was given a year of an identity watch service. I was reassured by the comment that the tape was in “secure” areas… I can now report that my data was compromised and found its way into the hands of stock tip spammers. I think the Ameritrade tape wasn’t destroyed or lost. Here’s my evidence.
The conspiracy theorist in me can imagine a world in which Ameritrade hires spammers to spam its customers, hoping that some will use its services (generating transaction fees) to pump and dump penny stocks, and using the “compromised tape” as an excuse. I know in my heart the business world would never be this unscrupulous.
The odd thing is that I’m getting similar junk email to a number of email addresses, including ameritrade@my personal domain name — and I never signed up for an account on Ameritrade. If this email address was “guessed” by the spammers, it’s possible the others were…
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published August 30, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.