Credit Card Information Stolen: California DMV Targeted

Credit card information has been compromised once again, and this time it’s not a retail or online store that was targeted. The California Department of Motor Vehicles appears to be the common factor in the latest wave of payment information theft.

In an increasingly high tech world, credit cards are becoming more commonplace than ever. It’s become a popular “way out” in case you can’t remember the PIN number for your debit card. Chances are, you even have your PayPal account connected to it. The problem with convenient number transfer is that it’s too easy to steal that information either as a “random passerby” at the supermarket or online with keylogger programs.

Keyloggers work by simply recording your key presses and sending them to the person spying on your internet usage. There are complicated ways to fool keyloggers, but we’re not going into that right now.

Thousands of credit card users have been victims of fraud lately, and the common factor with all of them is that they had a transaction at the California DMV between the dates of August 2, 2013 and January 31, 2014. If a government run facility is that easy to hack, it may be time to step up security on credit cards everywhere. 11.9 million credit card transactions could have been affected.

If you used your credit card at the California DMV between those dates, you may have gotten a notice from your bank about false charges and a new card being issued. If not, it may be time to request a replacement number before mysterious charges have a chance to appear.

Authorities alerted the agency on Saturday that the credit card information of thousands of citizens may have been compromised. As a result, the transactions have been heavily monitored and an investigation is underway to determine if indeed the Califonia DMV has been hacked. It isn’t just the facilities under investigation, but also all online transactions. Credit card companies have been notified.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has released a statement about the compromise of credit card information:

“There is no evidence at this time of a direct breach of the DMV’s computer system. However, out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of protecting the sensitive information of California drivers, the DMV has opened an investigation into any potential security breach in conjunction with state and federal law enforcement.

“We will immediately notify any affected DMV customers as quickly as possible if we find any issue.”

If you have used the California DMV services between those dates, be sure to notify your bank that your credit card info may have been stolen so they can issue a replacement just in case.