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April 23rd, 2008

Former LendingTree Employees Sold Access To Customers Database

LendingTree has notified its customers that former employees helped unauthorized mortgage lenders hack into its systems and steal customer information from 2006 to 2008. These lenders then used the passwords to access LendingTree customer information files, normally available only to LendingTree-approved lenders, to market loans to LendingTree’s customers.
The files contained loan request data such as name, address, email address, telephone number, Social Security number, income and employment. Credit card information (such as account number or account balance) was not involved.

A LendingTree spokeswoman said the company was not granting interviews to discuss the data theft. She would not say how many customers were affected nor how much data was stolen, but instead supplied a copy of the customer letter sent by the firm.

The company began an internal investigation and reported it to the authorities, enhanced the security and brought lawsuits against the lenders and other persons involved: Newport Lending Group, Irvine, California; Home Loan Consultants, Inc., Newport Beach, California; and Sage Credit Company, Irvine, California.

LendingTree sent emails or letters to the mortgage customers that it believes, based on its investigation to date, might be at risk of having their information accessed and used by these mortgage companies to solicit mortgage loans.

Concerned clients can call LendingTree at 866-505-8874 to speak with one of the customer service representatives who are available from 9am to 9pm ET seven days a week.

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