Sovereign Bank of the US is re-issuing 83,000 Visa debit cards following a spate of card frauds tentatively linked to an online security breach at BJ's Wholesale Clubs in March.
The bank is spending $500,000 to re-issue the cards after it was discovered that 700 cards had been fraudulently used. Other regional banks were also hit, with Eastern Bank forced to re-issue some 12,000 MasterCard debit cards, and Middlesex Savings Bank 6400 Visa debit cards.
The precautions follow the arrest of six individuals in Europe last month after some of the stolen card numbers from BJ's were traded online via IRC channels. Affected banks have been monitoring cardholder accounts for discrepancies since the break-in at BJs.
Sovereign spokesman Ed Shultz told reporters: "With the latest update on the numbers of folks who could be potentially impacted, we erred on the side of caution."
He said Visa had notified the bank that the 83,000 cards could potentially be used fraudulently.