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Data Breach Leaves UCard Carriers Vulnerable

The personal information of thousands of Utah residents has been compromised.  Those who use the UCard to collect benefits from the Department of Workforce Services are affected by the data breach, DWS officials announced today.  JP Morgan Chase, the company tasked with delivering benefits through the digital payment card discovered a network breach that reportedly began in July and was contained in September.

DWS Spokesman Nic Dunn says law enforcement officers are investigating the source of the breach. He says DWS officials are clearly upset that this happened on JP Morgan servers. 

“Our number one priority is our customers,” Dunn says. “We take their confidential information seriously. We want the same level of standard and responsibility from our private sector partners and will work with JP Morgan very closely to make sure that happens.”

UCard customers across the nation have been affected by the breach.

But in Utah specifically, DWS clients use the digital payment card to access unemployment benefits and to purchase uniforms, tools, textbooks and other materials related to education and job training benefits. 

About 97,000 people in the state use the card.

Dunn says JP Morgan Chase confirmed the breach yesterday, but had been aware of the situation since September.

“I don’t know the details or the factors of why we weren’t notified sooner and of course we’re anxious to get the issue resolved and we were asking the same questions,” Dunn says. “We wanted to know why there was a communications gap as well.”

A JP Morgan Spokesman says company officials have found no evidence that the information was used improperly. Cardholders can continue to use their cards. They plan to notify all cardholders affected by the breach and offer free credit monitoring. Customers can call 866-849-5255 for more information.

DWS Executive Director Jon Pierpont said in a statement the department is carefully reviewing its relationship with the bank.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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