TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Citibank Blocks Some Debit-Card Use Abroad

Citibank Blocks Some Debit-Card Use Abroad

Monty Solomon (
Wed, 8 Mar 2006 12:40:13 -0500


NEW YORK (AP) -- Citibank said Wednesday it has blocked the use of
some of its PIN-based debit cards after detecting fraudulent cash
withdrawals in three countries.

The bank, the retail arm of the nation's largest financial
institution, Citigroup Inc. of New York, said the debit-card
information apparently was obtained by thieves in "a third-party
business' information breach" last year. Citibank did not name the
merchant or processing firm, but industry officials familiar with the
case said the breach occurred in the United States.

Citibank said it began monitoring affected accounts after the breach
"and in mid-February, we detected several hundred fraudulent cash
withdrawals in three countries."

The industry officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of
the sensitivity of the issue, said the three countries were Britain,
Canada and Russia.

The bank said it blocked transactions on cards that may have been
compromised in the breach after the fraud was detected. Debit cards
often require the use of PINs, or personal identification numbers, for


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