WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Bank Disables Thousands Of Debit Cards

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Many people in eastern Kentucky are finding out their debit cards do not work.

A new scam is targeting the cards through retailers.

Officials say someone was able to get many people's debit card information through a retailer, and that forced Forcht Banks throughout eastern Kentucky to disable thousands of cards, to protect them.

Many Forcht Bank customers are finding it hard to use their debit cards.

“I went to buy a few groceries and my debit card wouldn't work. It said there was bank fraud on it,” Herman Bunch said.

Herman Bunch says he is actually glad the bank disabled his card.

Forcht Bank officials say they marked about a third of their customers' debit cards as lost or stolen, after they were alerted that someone hacked into the STAR network and stole thousands of debit card numbers.

“We felt like being proactive up front. We took away the possibility of anyone having their account fraudulently gotten into,” Eddie Woodruff said.

“I'm really glad they cut it off. I only use it about once every two weeks, so it's a good possibility something could've happened,” Bunch said.

Forcht Bank officials say identity thieves are getting to bank information through retailers.

“They know that's the only way they could get into some merchants that may not have as many firewalls set up as they need to,” Woodruff said.

So far, no Forcht Bank customers have lost any money. But the scare is getting customers' attention.

“I'll be keeping a better check on it from now on, call into the bank and check my balance about every two days,” Bunch said.

Affected customers are expected to get new debit cards in the next few days.

No word on which retailer was hacked into that led to all of this, but bank officials say 40 percent of all purchases these days are on debit cards, making them a bigger target for identify thieves.


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