March 27, 2017 Cloudy, 48°F

Banks: ATM, credit cards at risk

OREGON – Federal authorities have informed area banks about a computer network breach in a local merchant’s system.

As a result, customers’ debit or credit cards may be at risk if they were used at the retailer in the past several months, and might have been used to make unauthorized purchases.

Several banks, particularly in the Oregon area, put out statements on their websites Thursday afternoon warning their account holders.

None released the name of the merchant, although the bank’s statements indicated the retailer has more than one location.

The banks with online statements include Community Bank of Oregon, First National Bank in Oregon and Rochelle, and Stillman Bank.

The banks informed the customers that they took steps to immediately close cards at risk of exposure and order new cards.

All assured customers the data breaches did not occur in their networks. They urged customers to monitor their statements for unauthorized charges.

In its statement, First National Bank said federal law enforcement requested that the banks not reveal the name of the company being investigated. It said it was unable to comment on details of the investigation.

In the spring, St. Louis-based grocery chain Schnucks revealed that 2.4 million credit and debit cards of its customers may have been compromised at its stores over 4 months beginning late last year. Twenty-three Illinois stores were affected.

It took a couple of weeks for Schnucks to inform customers after it found out about the problem. Some customers complained about the delay.

Under Illinois law, collectors of personal data are required by law to inform their customers of a breach. But they can delay doing so if a law enforcement agency determines that a notification will interfere with a criminal investigation. However, they must notify their customers as soon as they’re given clearance.

Officials from the FBI, which often handles such investigations, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

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