CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy Carolinas customers who paid a bill at one of the company’s 550 authorized walk-in payment processing centers between 2008 and 2017 may be affected by a potential compromise of personally identifiable information, according to PayPal Holdings, who recently acquired TIO Networks, which is the company who owns the network used to process payments made at those locations.
TIO Networks will begin notifying anyone whose information they believe may be included in the potential compromise, including approximately 374,000 Duke Energy Carolinas customers, who may be affected. The letter will come directly from TIO Networks and will include detailed questions and answers and a phone number for additional information.
Customers who paid a bill by check or cash at the payment processing centers (kiosks) since 2008 may have had their information compromised. These kiosks are typically located in convenience stores and supermarkets. The lion’s share of breaches came from the Carolinas. The company did not report other breaches at kiosks in Florida, Indiana, Ohio or Kentucky.
“This TIO Networks issue has possibly and unfortunately affected some of our customers, and we are doing all we can to help,” said Lesley Quick, Duke Energy’s vice president of revenue services. “We have remained in daily contact with our vendor since they abruptly and unexpectedly disabled their network on Nov. 10 for suspected “security vulnerabilities.”
This issue only affects customers who paid by check or cash at an authorized walk-in payment processing center, and not customers who paid via credit card or another form of payment. The personally identifiable information that may have been compromised includes, name, address, Duke Energy account number and balance, and banking information, if a customer paid by check.
“We regret the frustration and inconvenience this issue has created for our customers who rely on our authorized walk-in locations to pay their monthly energy bills,” said Quick. “We are doing all we can on behalf of our customers to ensure they receive timely information and action from TIO Networks.”
Duke Energy Carolinas customers can continue to make payments in person at any Western Union location — an agreement that Duke Energy established shortly after TIO Networks suspended the payment system — or can pay by check, debit or credit card online at www.duke-energy.com or by calling 800-777-9898, select option 2 for “billing and payments,” then option 1 to make a payment.
Customers who believe they may be impacted or have questions should visit http://tionetworks.com/ for more information.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Duke Energy customers using the company’s authorized walk-in payment locations may be impacted
- Potential compromise is broader than Duke Energy and could affect other companies who use the TIO Networks to process payments
- Duke Energy’s systems were not affected