2016-07-26 / Front Page

Area Banks Proactive In Replacing Compromised Customer Debit Cards

by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Several local residents, banking at various financial institutions, are receiving new debit cards, but not because theirs are expiring, but because of identity theft involving customers of Wendy’s restaurants.

Less than 300 fast food franchise locations were impacted in October of 2015, but an additional 1,025 franchises were the target of another hacking effort on the restaurant’s terminals via remote access through compromised third-party vendor credentials to collect names, debit or credit card numbers, expiration dates, cardholder verification value and a service code.

Now, several customers of Owen County State Bank (OCSB), Our Community Bank (OCB), and The Peoples State Bank are receiving new debit cards, simply as a precaution to help protect the accounts of individuals who may have been one of the compromised accounts in the data breach.

OCSB Senior Vice President of Operations Rick Krouse said OCSB was notified on July 8, 2016 by Visa that a number of OCSB debit cards may have been included in the Wendy’s compromise.

“It’s probably safe to say that every bank and Credit Union in Owen and surrounding counties was also notified of possible compromised cards,” Krouse explained. “As a precaution, we are currently in the process of identifying the customers that may have been affected, notifying those customers via letter, and re-issuing a new card to those customers. We need to emphasize that reissuing cards is simply a proactive and precautionary step taken to help eliminate any potential fraud that may affect our customers. Just because a customer receives a replacement card, that is not an indication that any fraud has occurred on their old card... or that their old card was even compromised, it simply is a possibility. In the meantime, as always, customers should watch their account activity regularly for anything that may look suspicious. If they see something, report it to the bank as soon as possible.”

OCB President and CEO Kurt Rosenberger said OCB has been aware of the issue since early 2016, noting many local customers who have used their debit cards at the local Wendy’s have appeared on a list of compromised cards, provided to OCB through a fraud protection service the bank relies upon.

“Once a customer’s card appears on that fraud alert list, we contact the customer and order a replacement card immediately. We go to great lengths to protect our customers from loss due to fraudulent use of debit cards. The Wendy’s data breach, and other retailer data breaches, have resulted in significant frustration for many of our customers, as well as financial loss to the bank,” Rosenberger added. “I would encourage all debit card users to contact their banks to understand how they handle situations involving captured card information. Not all banks and credit unions handle these situations the same.”

The Peoples State Bank and its customers at branches in Spencer and Ellettsville were also impacted by the recent data breach.

“We did receive notice of some of our customers who may have been affected by fraudulent activity, so we went ahead and reissued new debit cards to all of those customers, who we became aware of that may have used their cards at the locations,” The Peoples State Bank Executive Vice President Johnny Lindsey said. “There were some notices that we received earlier this year, but most of it came as part of this recent update, where they had discovered additional malware that had been installed on some of the Wendy’s credit card terminals. One of the things we always stress to our customers is they have no-liability fraud protection, which means anytime they get hit with something like this, we make sure we reimburse them for that and take care of those situations for them.”

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