Security Breach Puts 50,000 Credit Card Holders at Risk
A security breach at Global Payments Inc., a third-party U.S. based processor, may have compromised 50,000 Visa and MasterCard cardholder accounts. According to ZDNet, both Visa and MasterCard have sent out non-public alerts to banks notifying them of the breach.
Krebs on Security reported that the breach was first detected by Global Payments in early March. The accounts were compromised between January 21st and February 25th 2012. The information obtained in the breach could be used to make counterfeit cards. It is unknown whether or not banks will issue new cards to cardholders as a result of the breach.
Affected banks have begun analyzing transactions on the potentially affected cards in an attempt to find common points of purchases. So far, the transactions of the cards that have been analyzed seem to share the characteristic that they were used in parking garages in the New York City area.
Visa has released information saying that the breach is being investigated by the Secret Service as well as an unidentified forensics company. The investigation is still in its early stages. Visa and MasterCard have both stated that their networks were not compromised as a result of the breach.
If you use a Visa or MasterCard credit card, you may be affected by this breach. The good news is that most credit cards have fraud protection, so even if you are affected by this security breach, you most likely will not be affected by fraudulent charges if you catch them early enough.
Make sure you spend some time this weekend checking your credit card statements either online or by phone to see if there has been any unusual activity going on. If there has been, get in touch with your credit card company ASAP!
Additionally, if you have yet to get your free credit report this year, get your free annual credit report to make sure there are no discrepancies on your report.
Be sure to share this article with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email so they know about the security breach and can check their credit card statements to make sure they were not affected.