Texas AG: GAB Robins Among Firms Settling ID Theft Charges

December 12, 2008

GAB Robins, a firm that provides risk management and claims services to the insurance industry, is one of three firms cited by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for failure to protect customers’ identities, according to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

Abbott filed an enforcement action against one Rio Grande Valley company and reached agreements with two firms, including GAB Robins. All three were charged with failing to protect and properly discard records containing customers’ sensitive personal information.

To resolve the state’s investigation, GAB Robins agreed to pay $125,000 in penalties and attorneys’ fees, and improve its information security protocols and employee training program. Under the settlement, $100,000 will fund future identity theft investigation.

The state launched its investigation after a Corpus Christi reporter discovered company records in a dumpster that was not protected by security measures. Documents obtained by OAG investigators contained customers’ personal information, including name, driver’s license number and date of birth.

The second settlement involved B&F Finance McAllen L.L.C., a loan company managed by Victory Management Services (VMS). In that case, B&F improperly disposed of customers’ personal identifying information in a publicly accessible trash receptacle behind its McAllen offices. Despite the unlawful disposal, VMS assured its customers through the company’s privacy notices that it keeps customers’ private personal information in a secure environment and that security procedures are used to protect customer data.

VMS agreed to improve its information security procedures, implement an employee training program, and pay the state $20,000 in civil penalties and attorney’s fees.

The AG filed a separate enforcement action against a third company, Nino Tax of Brownsville. The state launched its investigation after the Brownsville Police Department turned over to the OAG five boxes of records that were next to a dumpster behind the defendant’s office. The business records contained approximately 200 customers’ personal identifying information.

Source: Texas Attorney General’s Office, www.oag.state.tx.us/

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