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Bank of America cancels 200,000 debit cards - allegedly

There's a big scramble going on in the US in the wake of an alleged data security breach surrounding Bank of America (opens in new tab) Visa debit card users.

From the media reports (opens in new tab)I've seen so far, it looks like a third party company is responsible for the security gaffe.

As a result, the Bank of America is reported to mailing out letters to account holders warning them that their accounts "may have been compromised "at a third-party location unrelated to Bank of America."

Some reports suggest that the third party company is an office supply retailer, and that as many as 200,000 card accounts have been zapped as a precaution against possible fraud.

Other reports, meanwhile, suggest that the Bank of America isn't the only financial institution affected by the security gaffe, and that cards from Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo are similarly affected.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the retailer concerned could be in big trouble for failing to alert customers itself, and simply relying on the banks contacting their cardholders.

Fortunately for cardholders, Visa appears to have taken the bull by the horns and instructed the card issuers to place a stop on the potentially affected cards.

The chaos is bad news for Visa debit card holders in the US, but at least Visa stomped on a possible fraud, before anything actually happened...