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No American customer information has been compromised in a reported theft of personal data from Germany’s largest phone and Internet provider, German officials said Tuesday.

Numerous German media outlets began reporting Monday about widespread fraud involving personal data, such as telephone and bank details, possibly linked to the sale of customer data from a Deutsche Telekom database.

A company spokesman on Tuesday said Telekom was aware of only one case in which a customer’s personal information had been used fraudulently. "Nevertheless, we take the accusations very seriously," said the spokesman, Philipp Blank.

A German television station said it has proof that other customers have been defrauded, but has not yet come forward with details, according to Blank.

So far, no case is known in which the personal details of any American Telekom customer living in Germany has been compromised, he told Stars and Stripes. Any customer whose data is misused will be contacted by Telekom, he added.

A call center in Bremerhaven sold information from Telekom databases to "third parties," according to the German broadcaster Norddeutsche Rundfunk.

A former call center employee reportedly turned over to a German consumer agency a CD-ROM containing 17,000 people’s personal details, including names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, addresses and bank account information, according to the Deutsche Welle Web site.

"It was only the first chunk of data," the employee, Detlef Tiegel, reportedly told the German magazine Der Spiegel, according to Deutsche Welle. "In fact, I saved the addresses and banking information of 1.5 million clients."

TKS, which provides telephone, Internet and cable television service to thousands of Americans in Germany, is not involved in the reported data fraud, according to Steven Kallay, a company spokesman.

"Absolutely no TKS customer has been compromised," he wrote in an e-mail.

Though Deutsche Telekom owns the lines through which TKS calls are transmitted, "TKS customer data is maintained through our own secure customer care and billing system which is independently administered; outside service providers such as Deutsche Telekom do not have access to sensitive TKS customer information," Kallay wrote.

Stars and Stripes’ Marcus Klöckner contributed to this report.


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