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Data breach affects 370,000 Duke Energy customers, 15 in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG — Duke Energy Florida's customers were spared the worst of a data breach affecting about 370,000 Duke customers in North and South Carolina. Just 15 Florida customers had their personal data potentially compromised when a third-party payment processing vendor was hacked, said Duke spokesperson Ana Gibbs.

"This is a TIO issue that has possibly and unfortunately affected our customers," Duke said in a statement. "It is broader than Duke Energy and affects the customers of any company who used the Global Express network for payment processing."

The breach, which happened as early as 2008, affected customers who paid their bill by cash or check at 550 payment processing centers across North and South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Florida.

Evidence of an intrusion was discovered in July when TIO Networks, a payment processing vendor, was bought by PayPal Holdings Inc. Among the potentially stolen data was names, addresses, electricity account numbers and banking information if a customer paid power bills by check.

Related coverage: National Credit Federation exposed 40,000 customers' finance data>

Duke Energy customers comprise about a quarter of the 1.6 million TIO Network customers potentially affected by the breach. TIO Networks is in the process of notifying customers who might be affected.

If you believe you were affected by the breach, visit for more information.

Times wires were used in this report. Contact Malena Carollo at or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.