WATER UTILITY SERVICES

Questions and Answers About Security Issues with Online Water Bill Payment System

What happened?

Based on our investigation to date, it appears that payment information for some water bills, paid with credit or debit cards through the city’s online payment system between December 24, 2017 and January 4, 2018, was stored on the city’s server and not properly protected by encryption. There is no indication at this time that the information was accessed or utilized by any unauthorized individuals.

Was there a data breach of the City’s Network?

There is no indication, at this time, that the information was accessed or utilized by any unauthorized individuals.  An investigation into the issue, including work with outside experts, is currently underway.

Do I need to cancel my credit or debit card?

At this point, we do not believe it is necessary for you to cancel any credit or debit cards unless you identify unauthorized use.

For now, we recommend that Waco Water customers who paid with debit or credit cards during the time period in question take the following precautions:

  • Check your credit card/debit card statements for any unauthorized charges
  • Immediately report any issues to your financial institution and to the City of Waco at the Water Office, (254) 299- CITY (2489).

Will the city reimburse people if they suddenly find their bank account depleted by fraudulent charges linked to this problem and incur late fees or overdraft charges?

We are not at a point where we have identified any unauthorized charges linked to this issue.  We will re-evaluate as the investigation continues.

Should people place a fraud alert with the various credit bureaus? 

That is up to the individual.   At this point, we do not have any indication that the unencrypted information was accessed by any unauthorized parties.

How was the City of Waco made aware of these “possible concerns”?

During the course of investigating an issue related to the performance of the online payment system, the unencrypted data was discovered.

Is it safe to pay my water bills using a credit card going forward?

Yes. We are monitoring the system to make sure that information is properly protected.

Will the City pay for credit monitoring?

We are not at a point where we have identified any unauthorized charges linked to this issue.  We will re-evaluate as the investigation continues.

What changes have you made to the process to ensure this does not happen  again?

An investigation into the issue, including work with outside experts, is currently underway.

Will you notify me if you do find anything else?

Yes. Should the ongoing investigation bring any relevant new information to light, those affected will be notified.

Who do I call if I think there are charges on my card that I did not make?

Immediately report any issues to your financial institution and to the City of Waco Water Office, (254) 299- CITY (2489).