Evidence of data theft at a Spain-based credit card processing company prompted the recall in November of more than 100,000 cards in Germany. UK cardholders were told to watch for unauthorized activity, but the authorities did not reveal any details about the breach--including the processor's name. The Daily Mail reported that the "criminals are understood to have stolen card details and then used them to buy goods online." In a November 19 statement, Germany's Central Credit Committee (ZKA) called the recall a "precautionary measure and routine operation" and said the card exchange was nearly complete. It said: "All German banks and savings banks have significantly tightened monitoring of the affected cards, which further limits any potential abuse."
Cards issued by DKB-Bank, Barclays and Karstadt-Quelle are among those at risk, but neither Visa nor MasterCard reported any breaches of their systems. The BBC reported that Visa Europe was "aware of a possible card data security issue in Spain," but revealed nothing further. The processor is reportedly being investigated for fraud, so the incident may be an inside job rather than the work of hackers or skimmers.