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Summit County sees credit card breach after fair, rodeo and demolition derby

Published: Thursday, Aug. 28 2014 9:18 p.m. MDT

Updated: Thursday, Aug. 28 2014 9:18 p.m. MDT

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COALVILLE — Hundreds of personal bank accounts are at risk after a security breach was discovered involving ticket sales for the Summit County Fair rodeo and demolition derby.

Summit County spokeswoman Julie Booth said officials became aware of the breach Sunday after a number of county employees and members of the community reported experiencing fraudulent charges on their bank accounts.

Booth said it is believed a third-party vendor offering online sales of tickets to the rodeo and derby was compromised.

A total of 951 transactions were made through the vendor, she said, but it is not yet known how many individual customers were affected.

"Until they call the sheriff’s office and report it, we won’t have a clear idea of how many people were actually affected," Booth said.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office is investigating the breach, and the third-party vendor is cooperating with the investigation, she said.

A letter was sent to every individual who purchased a ticket through the vendor, Booth said, and messages were posted on the county's Facebook page warning residents to monitor their accounts for fraudulent charges.

"The largest one that we have heard of was $5,000, and the smallest one we heard of was $75," she said. "It’s a big range."

Henefer resident Kaci Jarrett was among those who say suspicious charges appeared on her account after purchasing tickets to the demolition derby.

Jarrett said she called her bank and had her debit and credit cards frozen after more than a dozen small charges appeared as pending against her account.

"Mine were only $1.50," she said. "But there's currently 13 of those charges, some still pending."

Jarrett said she doesn't regret buying the tickets, but the incident does make her wary about making credit card purchases.

"It’s just a chance you take anytime that you buy anything online, I guess," she said.

April Allgood, an employee in the Summit County Recorder's Office, said she was recently alerted by her bank of suspicious charges made on her account.

Allgood said she canceled her card and had the charges reversed but didn't realize until Sunday that the incident was likely related to the county fair, which was held earlier this month.

"When I heard this today, I figured that was where this came from," she said Thursday.

Allgood said two charges were made to her account, the first for $33 that was authorized before being detected and a second for more than $200 that was flagged and reversed.

She said her account was also breached in May, making this latest incident with the county's vendor the second attack on her account this year.

"It’s just kind of getting annoying at this point," Allgood said. "It was twice in three or four months."

Residents who discover suspicious charges on their accounts are encouraged to contact the Summit County Sheriff's Office, Booth said.

Roughly half of the county employees who purchased tickets through the vendor have so far been affected by the breach, but it is not clear if that ratio extends to the 951 total transactions, she said.

Contributing: Brianna Bodily

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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