As you may have heard in the news, Target has had a huge breach of debit and credit card information. The breach started on Black Friday (Nov. 27) and ran through last Sunday (Dec. 15), exposing as many as 40 million debit and credit card accounts, making it one of the largest breaches ever at a U.S. retailer.
Experts note that the timing of this is no accident; fraudsters know that the holiday season has the ability to mask the flags that processors’ fraud monitoring and mitigation systems look for, such as comparisons against a cardholders transaction history, which obviously changes dramatically during the holiday season.
Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions following the breach.
Target reported that customer names, debit or credit card numbers and expiration dates were taken, along with the three-digit security codes (CVVs) often imprinted on the backs of cards. The breach is not limited to Target-issued credit cards; customers using any credit or debit card could be affected. Thankfully, the attack only affected in-store shoppers, not those who made purchases online.
If your account information was compromised, we will notify you and send you a new card by mail. Once the card is activated, we close out the old card.
In the meantime, to keep your account information safe, be sure to monitor your account for any unusual activity and notify us immediately if you see anything out of the ordinary. If you have additional questions, please contact your local Bank Forward branch. Target has also set up a hotline for those who think they may have been affected by the breach at 1-866-852-8680.
This was an attack on Target’s internal systems, so it’s difficult for consumers to take steps to protect themselves against this kind of theft in the future. However, customers are protected by their banks when these retail point-of-sale breaches do happen.
Regardless of where the breach actually occurred, Bank Forward takes a variety of steps to protect the integrity of our customers' accounts, including:
Though everyone – including banks, retailers, card networks, law enforcement, and industry associations – has as a responsibility to protect the integrity of the payments system and prevent events like this from occurring, you play an important role in improving your financial security.