NEW ORLEANS -- JP Morgan Chase is warning more than 460,000 holders of prepaid cash cards that their personal information may have been accessed during a cyber attack on the bank's network in July.
Those potentially compromised include more than 13,000 Louisiana residents who received a pre-loaded debit card for state income tax returns, child support payments and unemployment benefits.
"They have not released to us exactly how it was compromised. They were only letting us know that it was compromised," said Doug Baker at the state's Division of Administration.
Baker said hackers may have gotten hold of cardholders names, addresses, birth dates and Social Ssecurity numbers. State officials admit at this point that they don't have a list of names of those cardholders who may have had their personal information compromised, but say only those who registered their cards with the JP Morgan Chase website between July and September of this year may have a problem.
"None of those who registered their cards by phone are affected by this potential problem," said Baker.
The debit cards were controversial from the start. The Louisiana Department of Revenue started using them last year, claiming it would allow the state to distribute refunds and benefits more quickly and cheaply than mailing out checks.
Laura Guccione co-owns a New Orleans mask-making business. She said she requested a paper check for her tax refund, fearing that her information could be hacked.
"With a credit card, suddenly your information is not only with the state, but also with a bank, so there's more of a chance for people to get you information and steal your money," said Guccione.
The state of Louisiana is holding Chase Bank accountable for any losses to cardholders.
"Chase has assured us that they will be reaching out to those affected by week's end and setting up a hotline, whereby citizens can contact them directly to see if there is any problem with their account," said Baker.
According to Chase, so far there is no evidence the personal information has been used fraudulently, and the bank continues to monitor the security status for all card holders.