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“Backoff” Virus Causes Increase in Credit/Debit Card Data Theft

On July 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning to US businesses about the newly discovered “Backoff” virus targeting merchant card processing systems. It is estimated that more than 1,000 US businesses have already had their systems infected by the virus, which exploits businesses’ administrator accounts through remote-access software with the goal of stealing consumer debit and credit card information.

Data breaches can be extremely damaging to a business’ reputation and put consumers’ personal and account information at risk for fraud. DHS is urging all businesses, regardless of size, to thoroughly scan their Point of Sale (POS) systems for a possible compromise. For more information on securing personal information and protecting your business from data theft, please review the Better Business Bureau’s Data Security Made Simpler Guide.

When a business reports a data breach to MasterCard, they reach out to us to let us know which Merrimack debit cards were used at that business during the suspected breach period. This gives us the opportunity to institute security precautions to protect the funds in your account(s) as soon as possible. We will contact you should we be notified that your card is at risk for fraud, and let you know any special precautions that we are taking.

We will also continue to monitor our debit cards closely and notify you directly of any unusual activity. We encourage you to monitor your accounts using online, mobile or phone banking and to notify us immediately of any transactions that are not authorized by you. You may also visit our branches for a print out of recent transactions made on your account. If you should notice any fraudulent transactions on your debit card outside normal banking hours, please note that you are able to restrict your own debit card by our processing center at 1-866-546-8273.

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