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Security

Intuit warns of credit card risk

Customers are told to watch their accounts closely after a PC containing personal data is stolen.

Intuit, a provider of financial software and services, is warning 47,000 customers that their credit card data may be at risk after computers were stolen from a company office.

According to a letter sent to customers last week and a notice recently posted on Intuit's Web site, the theft happened in early June at the Omaha, Neb., office of ItsDeductible, a software maker acquired by Intuit last year to be part of its TurboTax tax preparation business.

Thieves broke into the office the weekend of June 11, according to the notice, and took several items, including a PC with password-protected customer data.

Inuit spokeswoman Julie Miller said the records on the PC contain personal data, including credit card details, for about 47,000 customers who purchased ItsDeductible products between December 2002 and November 2003.

Miller said Inuit has notified all affected customers and has heard no reports of identity theft nor seen any other sign that the customer data was accessed. "All indications have been it was really about the hardware value of what was stolen," she said. "There's no indication they know what they had."

Intuit is urging affected customers to contact their banks to have credit cards canceled or monitored for suspicious activity. The company is also offering three months of free credit and personal information monitoring service through MyFico, a credit check specialist.

Stolen PCs have become an increasingly serious security concern, with lifted computers potentially exposing data ranging from government secrets to medical records.