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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by me Location: here on Jan 20, 2009 at 12:39 PM
    This is not the best bank in the world, believe me....
  • by k Location: floyd on Jan 19, 2009 at 08:00 PM
    High tech, get ripped off tech/
  • by HE Location: Harlan on Jan 19, 2009 at 03:05 PM
    I lost my debit card today and I have really been worried. Since today was a holiday I could not report it to my financial institution, as were the instructions on the back of the card. I found the number of the visa lost or found card on the internet and called the 800 number. The agent ask me all kinds of questions such as SS number and address and phone. I only gave him the card number but did not feel like the SS number was needed. He explained to me it was ok and he would disable the card immediately. I hope and pray no one charged on the card. My point is, why isn't a number on the back of the card for Visa in case you do lose your card or if it is stolen when the financial institution is closed? There should be another security in case this happens. A lot of fraud can take place in just and hour or two.


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