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Should Police Inform the Public When a Breach Occurs?

Tori Brock of The Huntsville Item reports: Huntsville, Texas’ brush with credit and debit card fraud this month brought to light the many issues associated with identity theft.

Huntsville Police Department, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, University Police Department and the U. S. Secret Service worked together to determine the source of the thefts of debit and credit card numbers by virus-infected computers at Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant. Margarita’s was hit by a type of “skimming,” in which credit card numbers are stolen before they can be encrypted by the restaurant’s point of sale system.

Residents began alerting the police to the problem almost three weeks ago, and a large jump in reported cases occurred about two weeks ago. Victims are still bringing cases to authorities as they find evidence in their bank and credit card statements.

At some point in the investigation, authorities knew most of the cases were connected to computers at Margarita’s, but they said they were reluctant to release the business’s name to the public for fear of retribution against the restaurant.

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