ANCHORAGE (AP) The Alaska Department of Administration has been forced to close 86 state credit card accounts since early January because someone is trying to get unauthorized access to the accounts.
The person has been trying unsuccessfully to make online purchases, according to administration department officials.
None of the transactions has been completed because whoever is trying to make the purchases does not appear to have the three-digit verification code that's printed on the back of the card and is separate from the account number, said Kim Garnero, the department's finance director.
Garnero said the servers that contain the information on the state's 8,000 Master Card accounts were not compromised.
Instead, it's likely someone has learned the bank identification number the same first six digits on every card and is using it as a starting point to generate valid credit-card numbers, Garnero said.
''This is occurring on a daily basis,'' said David Lawer, vice president and general counsel at First National Bank Alaska, which issued the state credit cards.
''There are markets out there of people who will pay for valid credit-card information so they can create duplicate unauthorized cards and sell them,'' Lawer said.
First National began notifying state finance officials on Jan. 11 of what appeared to be unauthorized attempts to use state credit accounts.
Garnero said the culprits attempt to use the card to purchase merchandise on the Internet but are thwarted when asked either for the three-digit verification code or the billing address.
In several instances, the culprits attempted to have the merchandise shipped to an address in Columbus, Ohio.
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