The Vermont State Employees Credit Union says unencrypted computer tapes containing personal data and transaction records were inadvertently thrown into a landfill.
Credit union CEO Steven Post says an investigation has turned up no evidence of theft, or that the data has fallen into the wrong hands.
He said it appears the data tapes are buried in a landfill and cannot be retrieved.
"There’s absolutely no indication that these were stolen from us, or that any information is being used," Post said. "In fact, it was thrown away – human error – and ended up at the landfill."
Post said the credit union has worked with regulators and law enforcement to address the incident.
The credit union has notified 85,000 people whose information may have been put at risk. It’s offered them a year’s free service for credit monitoring and data protection.
"They have legitimate concerns that they should be aware of. We’re sending the letter out. And we want to talk to them and we want them to talk to us, and we want to do everything we can," Post said. "We believe in the end that when this experience is behind us that we will be stronger, smarter, safer and better."