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Unemployment director addresses debit cards that may be compromised

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Unemployment director addresses debit cards that may be compromised

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Jan 3, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Hundreds of unemployment recipients in Nevada are in the process of receiving new debit cards because the old cards may be compromised as part of the Target data breach, the state said Friday.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said 1,768 numbers appeared on a list of possible compromised cards. The cards were used at Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, the state said.

The unemployment money on the cards is provided by the state, but the cards are issued by Wells Fargo and administered by Xerox.

"You check your balances and make sure your balances are correct," DETR director Frank Woodbeck told Action News. "If something seems awry, you should notify us."

The state said all unemployment recipients receive the cards. Woodbeck said people who did not use the card at Target during the window period should not worry; the state is receiving updates from Xerox on the matter.

"These types of things, I'm afraid, will happen," Woodbeck said. "But I know there are a number of safeguards that are in place to try to minimize it."

The state said 25 debit accounts were compromised, likely because of the Target breach. It's tough to say how the compromise happened for certain because of the complexity of these matters.

In a statement to Action News, Xerox said its fraud prevention team is monitoring cards around the clock and working through fraud claims to resolve them as quickly as possible.

"We prefer not to disclose further details at this time because our fraud investigation is ongoing," spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email.

Woodbeck said he cannot recall a similar situation impacting unemployment debit cards. The director said Xerox is working to replace funds that may have been removed through fraudulent means.

Curt Miller owns Anexeon, an information technology company in Las Vegas. Miller said the Target saga is exposing weaknesses in the overall system.

"The issue is it's so easy to use a credit card number if you get a stolen credit card number," Miller said.

The most recent media release from Target, dated Dec. 27, said the investigation into the data breach is continuing and on going.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.