Oregon Charges Agent Who Dumped Records

October 26, 2009

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has issued a cease-and-desist order against insurance agent Robert Warren Spruill for violating the Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act and the Oregon Insurance Code.

Spruill, owner of Brooke Auto Insurance and Brooke Agency Services Company, LLC, discarded more than 1,000 insurance business records and other insurance-transaction documents into an unlocked garbage dumpster behind the Portland office of Brooke Auto. The documents contained clients’ personal information, including
client names, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers with card expiration dates.

The department cited Spruill for failing to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of the personal information he had in his possession and for not having a written information security plan with safeguards to protect customer information.

The department fined Spruill $11,000 with $8,500 suspended as long as he complies with the order.

“Identify theft can wreak havoc on a person’s credit history, which can take years to correct,” said David Tatman, administrator of the department’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. “Fortunately, in this case, alert citizens and media contacted DCBS when they noticed the documents, but unscrupulous persons might not have treated the information so carefully.”

According to national surveys, identity thieves most commonly obtain personal data from lost or stolen wallets, dumpster diving, and mailbox theft.

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