Dumpster Diver Finds Customer Financial Information In Bank Trash

James Hastings is a dumpster diver who has found a mother lode of consumer financial information that employees carelessly tossed in dumpsters outside of several People’s United Bank branches. He says he was trying to expose the bank for not safeguarding customer’s records. The bank says he was trying to extort them into giving him a job.

For four months, James Hastings searched through trash bins outside People’s United Bank branches in Fairfield County. He pulled out bags of paperwork with private information, including customers’ Social Security numbers and account information.

The bank last month won a restraining order against Hastings, 56, requiring him to not discuss the matter or distribute paperwork. He has since been interviewed by the Connecticut Post.

People’s Bank said Hastings is trying to extort money and claims he asked to be hired as a “fraud consultant.” Bank officials also are demanding that the information be returned.

Brent DiGiorgio, a spokesman for People’s Bank, said its primary concern is protecting the customers’ information that Hastings has taken. The bank promises to provide a year of free credit monitoring to customers whose information was taken and has contacted affected customers, he said.

That’s all well and good, but what the hell was all that information doing in a dumpster in the first place?

Taking bank trash, Fairfield man claims security lapse
[Newsday] (Thanks, Chris!)