By now, consumers are well aware of the risks of having their credit card number or email address captured in a data breach. As some Morgan Stanley clients are finding out, having a brokerage account number stolen represents a different kind of headache.
Morgan Stanley said Monday that it had terminated an employee for misappropriating wealth management client data. The financial services firm, which is the second-largest wealth manager in the country, said in a statement that partial account information for up to 10 percent of its wealth management clients, or about 350,000 people, was stolen. And data for about 900 clients—including names, account numbers, phone numbers and asset values—were briefly posted online.
"There is no evidence of any economic loss to any client," the firm said. Data stolen did not include Social Security numbers or account passwords. As a precaution, Morgan Stanley is giving affected account holders new account numbers, and implementing fraud monitoring and other security enhancements to the accounts.
Still, it's a breach requiring quick action and ongoing scrutiny on the part of those affected. "There are a number of concerns there, but not the typical identity theft ones," said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.