A laptop containing the personal details of thousands of credit card customers has been stolen from a Preston company.
Bosses at credit card giant MBNA have confirmed customer information was "compromised" at one of their vendors earlier this month.
They would not say exactly how many customers are affected, but the Lancashire Evening Post understands the details of thousands of customers were stolen from credit and finance firm NCO Europe Ltd, based at Watery Lane, Preston.
The information includes some personal details, although MBNA says there were no PIN numbers in the files.
Police have been informed of the theft and are now investigating.
MBNA moved to reassure affected customers and said everyone would be contacted personally. A spokesman said none of the details had yet been used fraudulently, but the company was monitoring every affected card.
The spokesman said: "Earlier this month, we learnt that some customer information may have been compromised at one of our appointed vendors.
"We have no evidence to suggest that this information has been used fraudulently, and even if it was there would be no liability for our customers. On an ongoing basis we are monitoring all the potentially affected cards for signs of fraud.
"We are contacting those customers potentially impacted to advise them of this issue and, as an extra precaution, we are giving these customers free access to CreditExpert from Experian for the next 12 months.
"This credit monitoring service makes it easy for people to spot irregular activity on their account.
"The information that has been compromised contains some customer information, but absolutely no PIN numbers.
"We have reported this matter to the police.
"As a result of this police investigation, we cannot discuss specific details about how the data was compromised.
"We apologise to those people who have been affected.
"The security of our customers and applicants financial information is one of our top priorities."
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