LENEXA, Kan. — Challenger Teamwear, a sports apparel company, in Lenexa, Kansas is in damage control after cybercriminals targeted the company and its customers over the Labor Day weekend.
Paul Lawrence, CEO of Challenger Teamwear, issued a written statement apologizing to customers for the hack and offering to help them restore their credit.
Jeff Howards was affected by the cyber attack. Howards's wife purchases uniforms for the Leavenworth Soccer Association from Challenger Teamwear. He said he received an urgent call from his credit card company late Friday night, asking them to call back immediately.
The credit card security investigators told Howards that someone purchased telecommunications equipment with his card and was trying to buy more equipment.
While they were on the phone with their credit card company, a private credit card protection company that Howards previously hired called with more bad news.
"People somewhere opened and were attempting to open four more credit cards in our name and had already made more large purchases of telecommunications equipment," said Howards.
Because the Howards were protected, they did not owe any money. Their credit card company and their private credit card protection company covered all expenses.
Jeff Howards said he went public with the story to warn other people to check their credit card accounts and credit reports and make sure they're not victims of the attack.
Howards said Lawrence called him personally, twice to apologize for the hack and offer help restoring his credit.
"I don't blame them. If it can happen to big companies like T-Mobile and the credit bureaus, how is the little guy in Lenexa supposed to protect themselves?" Howards said.
Here is the statement issued by Challenger Teamwear, CEO, Paul Lawrence:
Late last week, we received reports of unauthorized charges appearing on payment cards after they had been used to make a purchase on the Challenger Teamwear website. We immediately began an investigation and shut off the ability to use payment cards on our site during the investigation.
We have engaged a leading computer security firm to assist in the investigation, which is at an early stage. Based on the reports, the focus is on determining if there was unauthorized access to payment card information used to make purchases on our site.
The investigation is ongoing, and we need time to complete the work so we can provide you with accurate and reliable information about what occurred. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and please be assured we are working diligently to correct matters.
Paul Lawrence, CEO, Challenger Teamwear