Edwardsville, Ill - Florists' Mutual Insurance Company (Hortica) has announced the loss of a locked shipping case containing backup computer tapes with personal information.

Hortica says the tapes were used to store names, Social Security numbers, drivers' license numbers and bank account numbers.

The case was being transported by UPS from a secure offsite facility to the company's Illinois headquarters, the company says. UPS informed Hortica that the case could not be located, and Hortica has been working with UPS to locate the case.

UPS notified Hortica that all internal recovery processes had been exhausted, and the shipping case could not be located.

Hortica is continuing to investigate the incident and is working with law enforcement agencies to locate the shipping case, the company says.

No evidence has been uncovered that would indicate an unauthorized person has the tapes," says Robert McClellan, Hortica president and chief executive officer.

"It is important for customers to note that these tapes cannot be read without specific computer equipment and software," says McClellan.
 
Since the disappearance, which Hortica learned of on Thursday, the insurer has altered its backup tape storage procedures so shipment of backup tapes by common carrier is no longer required, the company says.

No unusual activity involving customer information has been reported to the company. However, Hortica advised customers to review place a fraud alert on credit files by calling the three national reporting agencies as well as reviewing account statements and reporting suspicious activity.

The company did not say how many customers might have had personal information on the tapes.

Hortica provides employee benefits and insurance to companies in the horticultural industry.

Source: Hortica Insurance

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