Calif. DMV Investigating Possible Credit Card Breach

Officials say they've found no evidence of a direct breach

By Andie Adams
|  Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 6:56 AM EDT
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PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Signage is seen at the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) February 6, 2009 in Pasadena, California. The DMV is closed as part of the first state employee furloughs in California history in response to California's budget crisis. About 90 percent of the state's 238,000 employees have been ordered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to take two days off without pay each month, the equivalent of about a 10 percent wage reduction, through June 2010. The governor says that the mandatory furloughs at agencies such as the DMV, Veterans Affairs, Department of Consumer Affairs, California Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Child Support Services will save the state about $1.4 billion. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles is warning its customers to closely monitor their credit card statements after officials opened an investigation into a possible security breach within its online credit processing services.

The DMV said there is no evidence of a direct breach in its computer system at this time, but they are working with state and federal law enforcement to see if California drivers’ sensitive information has been taken.

The department will be performing a forensic review of its systems and checking the external vender that processes the DMV’s credit card transactions, as well as the credit card companies themselves.

“Protecting the identity and security of our customers is our highest priority and we fully understand the potential impact any breach of security can have,” said DMV Public Information Officer Armando Botello.

DMV officials say they will notify affected customers as quickly as possible if they find any problems.

In the meantime, Botello recommends customers check for fraudulent or unusual activity on their credit card statements and report it immediately.

According to KrebsOnSecurity.com -- which was the first to report the possible breach -- the online payments that could be affected were between Aug. 2, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2014.

Seth Eisen, a spokesman from MasterCard, said the company is investigating the reports as well, but the breach is not within MasterCard's systems. 

The company sent out alerts to member banks.

If you need to make a payment to the DMV, you can still pay in cash, check or money order in person at your local office, officials say.

To learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft and fraud, read the DMV's Identity Fraud factsheet.

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