The city of Lacey’s online utility bill payment system has been hacked.
Lacey announced the situation late Tuesday through emails and a notice on its website.
More than 15,000 customers have set up online accounts with the city, but not all of those accounts are active, public affairs manager Steve Kirkman said Wednesday.
City officials are urging customers to check their credit or debit card activity, and to report anything suspicious to the bank or credit union that issued the card.
“In addition, we suggest you follow your financial institution’s advice regarding what measures to take concerning your credit card account,” the city said in its notice.
Malware on the city’s site compromised the payment card system from August to October. The city first learned of the problem on Oct. 24 and took the payment system offline. It will remain offline until the city’s investigation is complete, Kirkman said.
The city is working with a security firm and law enforcement, he said.
Kirkman said the city didn’t announce the hack until Tuesday because it took time to assess the initial problem.
Lacey utility customer Matt Johnson said his wife received the city’s email, then they discovered a series of erroneous charges that totaled about $480. He also heard from two Lacey friends who reported erroneous charges.
If you have questions, Lacey’s utility department can be reached at 360-491-5616 or UtilityBilling@ci.lacey.wa.us.
If you have a utility bill to pay, you can do it by phone, drop box or mail:
▪ Phone: 360-491-5616. This number can be called 24 hours a day.
▪ Drop box: City of Lacey, 420 College St. SE.
▪ Mail: City of Lacey, P.O. Box 34210, Seattle, WA 98124-1210.
Customers also have the option of contacting one of the three major credit report agencies to keep tabs on their accounts. They are:
▪ Equifax: Equifax.com or 800-525-6285.
▪ Experian: Experian.com or 888-397-3742.
▪ TransUnion: Transunion.com or 800-680-7289.