Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Citibank Merchant Identity Theft Causes ATM Withdrawal Blocks in 3 Countries

Citibank-Merchant-Identity-Theft-audio-post - click to play

With blame placed on an unspecified U.S. retailer, Citibank is forced to
block personal identification number (pin) based ATM withdrawals in the
United Kingdom, Russia, & Canada to protect American card holders.


In what may yet prove to be part of a far larger security breach,
several U.S. banks have been forced to reissue ATM cards
after their customers sensitive financial information was also
compromised.

"Gartner believes that these combined bank actions
reflect the largest
PIN theft to date — and point to
a new wave of 'PIN block' card fraud,"


"In this particular scam, the thieves probably also
stole (likely from
OfficeMax) magnetic-stripe data
found on the back of ATM cards, which
large banks
typically validate".
"This is the worst hack to date." according to Gartner.
"All the other hacks were trying to get to this hack.
All the previous hacks were leading up to finding a way
into your bank account. For the criminal, this is the pot
of gold."

What should you do about this latest wide spread breach of sensitive
credit card and banking information - possibly effecting you?


Our tip for today, is to contact Citibank* immediately to
confirm your account was not negatively impacted by this
latest breach. Even if not impacted, cancel your "cash
advance" feature associated with your credit card to deny
the identity thieves the opportunity to steal funds from
you which could amount to as much as 50% of your total
available credit line. And, don't worry as you can always
reinstitute with a simple phone call, your cash
advance
feature at a later date once this latest scandal
has been completely rectified.

* (Note, some Citibank card names: Advantage, Diamond Preferred, etc.)

Secondly, contact your bank to get new ATM cards and pins. Finally,
carefully scrutinize your statements (preferably on-line) at the
earliest possible opportunity. Make sure there are no
suspicious withdrawals or purchases you're certain you
or linked family members made against the account.

Check back with us on this developing story as the magnitude of
this latest identity theft security breach promises more fall out soon.

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