Debit card fraud scheme discovered at local bank

An undisclosed number of debit cards issued by Hillsboro State Bank were compromised Tuesday, but steps have been taken to fix the problem, HSB president Cynthia Fleming said Wednesday.

Fleming wanted to dispel rumors that anyone gained access to the bank?s main computer database.

?The bank was not hacked,? she said, ?which would have been much worse.?

When a bank is ?hacked,? Fleming said, someone has bypassed the security restrictions of the database.

?We had no security breach,? she said.

What happened Tuesday is that somehow the algorithm associated with a specific set of debit cards issued to HSB through their card company, First Data and Star Network, was attacked.

?It was nothing that anyone did here at the bank,? she said.

It?s unclear how the offenders accessed the card numbers, but they were using those numbers to run transactions as part of a fraud scheme.

Even though HSB was not to blame, Fleming said the incident was not good for the bank or its customers.

Fleming said she was working with the card company Wednesday, to establish immediate and long-term solutions to the fraud.

HSB initially was alerted to the fraud Tuesday. Generally, the card company has safeguards that track unusual card activity to prevent such incidents, Fleming said, but the illegal transactions happened too quickly and frequently.

HSB customers who are suspicious of debit card charges are asked to call or stop by the bank immediately. Customers will be asked to fill out a form stating the questionable debit card charge was not authorized.

Any unauthorized use of the debit card will be charged back to the business and the money will be put back into the customer?s account, Fleming said.

Bank customers will be receiving a letter explaining how long it will take until new debit cards are issued. In the meantime, the bank is looking at temporary solutions so that debit cards can still be used, but only with PIN numbers.

?We know how upsetting this is to our customers,? Fleming said, ?and we want them to know their money is secure.?

For more information, call HSB at 620-947-3961 or stop by 200 N. Main St., Hillsboro.

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