Crooks have hacked into millions of credit card accounts and some Wichitans could be among the fraud victims. In what's being called the largest security breach in history, credit card companies are now scrambling to notify banks and protect customers.
At Wichita's Emprise Bank they're still trying to figure out just how many customer accounts may be compromised.
"We've been participating in conference calls with all the card issuers to understand the scope of this," said Teri Ginther with Emprise.
Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card processing company, announced Tuesday it was the victim of the breach. In October Visa and Mastercard alerted Heartland of suspicious behavior. After investigating, the company found information stealing software in its systems.
The attack was possibly launched by an organized international cybercrime ring. The number of accounts affected is possibly more than 100 million.
The company is now working with local banks to see just how many victims there might be here in Wichita.
"As soon as we know that we will call all of our customers or notify them by means of letter and inform them what action we're going to take," said Ginther.
Local banks say people should not panic. Even if your credit card data has been stolen and used, customers will not be held responsible. And just because a customer's name is on the list doesn't mean the thieves have used their card.
Even so, banks will contact customers affected and either issue a new card or simply monitor their account more closely.