ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY - Police were contacted by five different banks about bank card irregularities, and most of the irregularities had one thing in common, each card had been used to purchase pizza at Little Caesars on East Chestnut in Altoona.
Police soon discovered that the charge card system used by that particular pizza shop had been hacked.
"It appears as though the person who is intercepting the information is reproducing cards, and distributing them across the country," said Altoona Sgt. Detective Ben Jones. "We've also had some of the cards that have been used in Africa and Indonesia," he added.
Approximately 250 cards have been compromised as a result of the hacking.
Almost immediately after the Little Caesars on East Chestnut learned its card swipe system had been hacked, it installed what the the police detective described as a more secure system, but he warned that any system could be hacked at any time.
"It's something that the business and people have very little control over," Jones said. "Once a hacker gets a location targeted, if they're persistent enough they can hack into the system."
On this occasion, Jones said the business just happened to be Little Caesars.
The detective added that to his knowledge, all banks so far have taken pro-active steps to protect the identities of those who had cards compromised, and money has been reimbursed.
The hacker has not yet been caught, and police are still investigating.
Little Caesars issued the following statement to WTAJ about the hacking:
"We take these issues very seriously, and so do our franchisees. We are dedicated to providing the best pizza and the best service to our customers, which includes safeguarding their data. We are advised that this is an isolated incident and that our franchisee has taken the necessary actions to correct the issue."