Potential Data Breach of Bossier’s Water Billing Payment System
On August 16, 2018 Bossier City released some news that should concern Bossier City residents who pay their water bill online. The news release read,
"The City of Bossier maintains a system that allows customers to pay their water bills online using a credit/debit card. In the past few business days, a number of water customers have alerted the City to unauthorized charges on cards they used to pay their City water bills. These reports raised a concern that the City’s online payment system may have been breached. The City takes the security of our customers’ information seriously therefore this notice is being given while we investigate."
Once Bossier City officials were alerted of this issue they shut down their online water bill payment system. Bossier City has hired a cybersecurity expert in order to have a forensic analysis along with an internal assessment with their software vendor. As of now it looks like the individuals affected by this are strictly individuals who used the online method to pay for their water bill.
Bossier City is asking you to follow these steps if you were affected by the data breach:
- Check your credit card account for unauthorized or suspicious charges, no matter how small.
- Report any unauthorized charges to your credit card issuer/bank.
- Ask your credit card issuer/bank to deactivate your card and issue a new card.
- Request a fraud alert to be placed on your credit file. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. You may call any one of the three major credit bureaus listed below. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts. The initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days.
- Request that all three credit reports be sent to you, free of charge, for your review. Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you check your credit reports periodically. Thieves may hold stolen information to use at various times. Checking your credit reports periodically can help you spot problems and address them quickly.
- Equifax: Equifax.com or 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: Experian.com or 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: Transunion.com or 1-800-680-7289
"The privacy and security of our customers’ information is of the utmost importance to the City. We are taking all necessary steps to investigate the potential breach. We will update you immediately as additional information becomes available." - Bossier City Officials