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Jacksonville-Area Credit Unions take a proactive, consumer-centric approach to protecting members who may have been affected by target security breach

lscuThe Northeast Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (NE FLA LSCU) announced that Jacksonville-area credit unions exemplified decisive leadership by taking proactive and consumer-centric measures to protect their members’ accounts, thus mitigating potential damages or losses related to a security breach that occurred(November 27, 2013 – December 15, 2013) at Target, one of the nation’s largest retailers.

“As soon as Target released information regarding the breach, our local credit unions sprung into action,” explained Judy Walz, president of NE FLA LSCU. According to Walz, members were not required to remember their shopping history or research the issue themselves: The credit unions researched card data and identified every member who used a card at a Target store during the breach period and compared the information with alerts received from VISA noting the card compromises. The credit unions began the process of notifying the members whose accounts could be at risk, as the Target breach compromised debit and credit card information of over 40 million consumers.

Local credit unions estimated more than 58,000 of their members may have been included in the theft of information. The credit unions will continue reissuing replacement cards this week, and members should have new cards by mid-January.

Although the credit unions (not Target) will bear the full cost associated with reissuing new cards and new card numbers, they were swift to implement processes for canceling and replacing the compromised cards. Walz emphasized that protecting members’ accounts is the primary focus. “Local credit unions were also sensitive to members’ needs; making accommodations that limited exposure to fraudulent transactions while preserving the member’s ability to access funds during the holiday shopping and travel season,” added Walz.

In addition to contacting affected members and reissuing cards, the credit unions also instituted heighten security and monitoring efforts. Information and links that explained the scope of the security breach and addressed consumers’ concerns were also posted on credit union Web sites. The credit unions also provided members with relevant fraud-prevention tips, as high-profile security breaches inspire fraudsters to initiate phishing (fake emails containing authentic-looking logos and graphics) and other scams for the sole purpose of stealing consumers’ personal and private financial information.

The Target breach is the second largest retailer security breach in U.S. history. Target reported that valuable information stored on cards’ magnetic strips was stolen, making it easy for thieves to manufacture duplicate cards and use the fraudulent cards to make a variety of purchases. For the latest news from Target, visit: http://pressroom.target.com/news/target-data-security-media-update

About the Northeast Florida Chapter:
The Northeast Florida Chapter of LSCU is comprised of credit union staff and volunteers who work to ensure a successful operating environment for Jacksonville- area credit unions through advocacy, education, and Support. For more information, call Judy Walz at (904) 908-2699.


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