Chicago cab passengers who pay their fare with debit and credit cards may be victims of a security breach.
First American Bank in Elk Grove Village, Ill., has filed a complaint with the city of Chicago reporting a pattern of fraudulent activity after customers swipe cards in local taxis, according to the bank's Friday press release. The affected taxi groups include American United, Checker, Yellow, Blue Diamond and others that are owned by the companies Taxi Affiliation Services and Dispatch Taxi, according to the release.
First American's customers began notifying the bank of fraudulent transactions on Feb. 10, according spokeswoman Christine Childers. The bank believes that its customers may not be the only victims of the breach.
First American has alerted Banc of America Merchant Services and Bank of America (BAC), which process payments for the taxis, to the alleged fraud. "The companies appear to not have stopped the breach," First American said in the release.
"Bank of America Merchant Services takes allegations of data security matters very seriously and follows all industry rules and legal mandates to investigate issues," a Bank of America spokesman said in a Monday email. "At this stage of the investigation, it has not been determined that a data breach of a merchant or any of our systems has occurred."
First American also reported the suspicious activity to MasterCard (MA), which issues its debit cards, on Feb. 10. "Transactions continue to be presented despite no remediation having been made," First American said in the release.
"We are aware of and investigating reports of a potential breach affecting taxi cabs in Chicago," MasterCard said in a Monday email. "To be clear, MasterCard's own systems have not been breached."
First American is reissuing cards to customers who may have been impacted by the apparent breach. The bank has sent out 227 new cards to customers so far, according to Childers.
The city of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is investigating First American's complaint, according to Christine Childers, spokesperson for First American Bank.
"Hopefully it will get fire under some feet," she said Monday.