Possible Data Breach May Affect 30,000 Arizona Utility Customers

A possible data breach has left some 30,000 Goodyear utility customers vulnerable. The City says it learned Monday about an apparent issue with its bill pay systems when a customer informed city officials of fraudulent activity on their bank account.

“We took immediate action and shut down the online payment system,” says Sherine Zaya, a spokeswoman for the City of Goodyear.

“We don’t know the scope of this compromise; we don’t know who’s been compromised.”

Zaya adds the possible breach is under investigation. She says city officials notified customers by posting an alert on the city’s homepage and local NextDoor accounts.

On Tuesday, notices were posted to the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Some utility customers believe more should have been done to notify customers their banking information could fall into the wrong hands.

Patricia Chester says the same bank card she uses to pay her water bill was used to make fraudulent purchases from iTunes.

“My husband brought it to my attention,” says Chester. “He was like, what did you charge on iTunes? And I’m like, I didn’t charge anything on iTunes.”

Chester says she called iTunes to dispute two charges made this week, one for $67 and another for $17. Chester says iTunes reimbursed her.

Other Goodyear utility customers have noticed similar charges from iTunes and Uber.

“Had my husband not noticed it, I wouldn’t have noticed it,” says Chester. “That charge would have gone through and somebody would have got away with spending my money.”

Zaya says the City is working with the vendor to determine exactly what went wrong with the bill pay systems and to identify customers who were hit by the breach. Those customers, Zaya says, will be contacted by the City directly.

Until further notice, utility customers are encouraged to mail payments or visit city hall to pay utilities in cash or check.



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