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UC Riverside students, staff, visitors warned cards compromised

November 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A warning to anyone who has used a credit or debit card on the University of California-Riverside campus in recent months: your card numbers may have fallen into criminal hands.

Officials would not say how the cyber-theft took place, only saying that whatever happened, the security breach has been fixed. But more than 5,000 people have had their credit- and/or debit-card information compromised. Campus officials say people who have used cards at food establishments on campus should be on alert.

Every day, students and staff at University of California-Riverside come to Ivan's, a good place to grab a snack or a quick drink. But it's also one of many spots on campus where credit- and debit-card information has been compromised. It's already happened to many students and staff members.

"Alicia," who didn't want to give out her last name, says her husband, who also works on campus, saw the fraud first when an out-of-state purchase was made at Wal-Mart in the amount of $180.

"It was caught pretty quickly and we canceled his card. I still had mine, there was no fraudulent purchases, so I didn't cancel it right away. I should have," said Alicia.

Because, she says, it happened to her own account just a few days later.

It's something that a lot of people on campus are concerned about. Five-thousand credit- and debit-card numbers could have been compromised.

Campus spokesperson James Grant says it's not just students and staff affected. Say someone's parent was in town for a sporting event and bought something in one of the restaurants or snack bars -- they should be on alert too.

"It's possible that anyone could be impacted who had bought something with a credit card on our campus from some time in the summer to just last week, so we're asking everyone to look carefully at their credit-card records and call their bank if there's an issue," said Grant.

As for Alicia, she says that's what she did. Her bank has agreed to replace the money, but she's still waiting.

"We're OK, but it's the end of the month, so it's difficult," said Alicia. "We get paid once a month and this happened right at the end, so there's been funds taken from our account that haven't been replaced yet."

If you think you've been a victim of this fraud, contact the UC Riverside Fraud Hotline at (855) 827-2277.

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