Montana Department of Justice
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June 27, 2011

Bullock Monitoring Credit Card Breach

Helena – Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is monitoring a breach of credit card information involving more than 360,000 Americans, including 839 Montanans.

An unknown third party was able to gain access to the credit card numbers, names, mailing addresses and e-mail addresses of hundreds of thousands of Citibank credit card holders, according to Citibank authorities who spoke with the Attorney General’s Office last week.

The breach occurred last month. Citi began alerting its Montana customers of the breach on June 3 and contacted the Montana Attorney General’s Office.

The breach did not include information necessary to commit fraud, like the cards’ expiration date, the individuals’ Social Security numbers and the multi-digit code on the back of the card required for online transactions, according to Citi.

“We’re watching this closely,” said Attorney General Steve Bullock. “At this point, it looks like Citibank has handled this well, but this incident is a good reminder to all of us to monitor our accounts closely. Security breaches like this are increasingly becoming a fact of life for consumers.”

Citibank cancelled the accounts of about 217,000 of the cardholders, including an unknown number of Montanans, and issued them new credit cards with new numbers. Another 142,000 of the affected cardholders had recently opened their accounts. Those accounts are being closely monitored, but they were not issued new cards.

Citibank has launched an investigation and is working with federal law enforcement to investigate the breach and its source.

Bullock urged Montanans, even those not affected by the breach, to closely monitor all account activity, check their report often and get a security freeze placed on their credit information to protect themselves against the dangers of identity theft. More information is on the Justice Department website.