National Retailer Security Breach Q&A PDF Print E-mail

December 19, 2013

Q: Media reports are stating that Target experienced a data breach. Can you provide more specifics?
A: Yes, we have received information from Target that it experienced unauthorized access to its systems resulting in the compromise of credit and debit card information.

Although certain card account data may have been compromised in this incident that does not mean data related to your account was taken, or that fraud has occurred on your account. Please be assured that we are actively monitoring the activity on your account to protect you from fraud. You will be contacted if we see any activity that requires you to take any action.

In addition, please review your monthly and/or online statement carefully and call us back immediately if you see any suspicious activity. It’s also important to note that all Visa credit and debit cards are protected with Visa’s Zero Liability* policy in the rare event fraud does occur, which means you pay nothing for unauthorized purchases on your account.

Q: Can you tell me if my card information was stolen in this incident or if it has been used fraudulently?
A: Although certain card account data may have been compromised in this incident, it does not mean data related to your account was taken, or that fraud has occurred on your account. Please be assured that we are actively monitoring the activity on your account and continuing to work to protect you from fraud.

As always, please review your monthly and/or online statement carefully and call us back immediately if you see any suspicious activity. All Visa consumer credit and debit cards are protected with Visa’s Zero Liability policy in the event fraud does occur, which means you pay nothing for unauthorized purchases on your account.

Q: I recently noticed fraud on my account. Is this fraud related to the recent incident?
A: At this time, it is unclear whether this fraud is related to the incident in question. It is important to know that regardless of where the fraud occurred, you are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability policy.

Q: How did this happen?
A: Target has confirmed it is aware of unauthorized access to payment card data that may have impacted certain guests making credit and debit card purchases in its U.S. stores. The specifics in the Target case are still under investigation.


Please review your monthly and/or online statement carefully and call us back immediately if you see any suspicious activity. While fraud resulting from data compromises is rare, it’s important to understand that you’re protected with Visa’s Zero Liability policy.

Q: How many cards were involved in the incident?
A: Target announced that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.

Q: Is it safe to shop at Target?
A: Consumers should feel safe using their cards anywhere Visa is accepted.

Q: Has the security breach been fixed?
A: Yes, Target has confirmed the breach has been resolved.

Q: What part of my information was stolen?
A: Target has confirmed that the customer name, credit or debit card number, the card’s expiration date and the CVV (the secret code on the magnetic stripe) may have been compromised. It’s important to note, though, that although your information may have been compromised, it does not necessarily mean fraud has occurred or will occur on your account. We are actively monitoring the activity on your account and working to protect you from fraud.


In the event any fraud occurs on your card, all consumer Visa credit and debit cards are protected with Visa’s Zero Liability policy, which means you pay nothing for fraudulent activity on your account. Please continue to monitor your account and let us know immediately if you notice any charges to your account that you don’t recognize.

Q: What are the chances that I become a victim of identity theft as a result of this incident?
A: It is our understanding that there wasn’t any personally identifying information stolen such as social security numbers, so we believe that the risk of identity theft is minimal. However, please continue to monitor your account for any fraudulent charges. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to regularly check your credit report for incorrect information. In fact, you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every year at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1(877) 322–8228.

Q: If I become a victim of identity theft, how will you help to restore my good name?
A: In the unlikely event you become a victim of identity theft, Visa works with the consumer network group, Call for Action, to provide consumers with a toll-free telephone hotline to assist identity theft victims. By calling 1(866) ID-Hotline, victims can receive free and confidential assistance from trained counselors.

Q: What are you doing to protect my personal account information, especially in this case?

A: Working with Visa, Credit Union of Colorado offers consumers multiple layers of security protection against fraud, including Visa’s Zero Liability policy, the cardholders’ ultimate protection. With Zero Liability, consumers are not responsible for any unauthorized purchases made on their Visa cards.

Q: What can I do to ensure this doesn’t happen to me again?

A: While we employ the latest systems and technology to monitor and prevent card fraud and merchants also take the necessary precautions to protect your card information, there are some practical steps you can take to help protect your card information:

  • Shop with merchants you know. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Check your account statement promptly and immediately report any transactions that you don’t recognize.
  • Guard your card – don’t use it as collateral or give out your card number to someone calling on the phone, unless you initiated the call for a purchase.
  • Check your credit report at least annually to ensure its accuracy.
  • Register your card to use Verified by Visa and shop online with merchants that participate in the Verified by Visa service. This provides additional protection against unauthorized use of your card online.

Q: What should I do if I experience fraud on my account?
A: Please monitor your account – both your monthly statement and online – and let us know immediately if you see unauthorized purchases.

Q: Are there any other tips you can provide to reduce my chances of card fraud?
A: Yes. There are several actions you can take to protect your personal information. These tips are also available at www.visa.com.

DO ...
  • Shred all personal and financial information such as bills, bank statements, ATM receipts, and credit card offers before you throw it away.
  • Keep your personal documentation (e.g., birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) and your bank and credit card records in a secure place.
  • Call the post office immediately if you are not receiving your mail. To get the personal information needed to use your identity, a thief can forge your signature and have your mail forwarded.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM.
  • Limit the number of credit cards and other personal information that you carry in your wallet or purse.
  • Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Cancel all inactive credit card accounts. Even when not being used, these accounts appear on your credit report, which is accessible to thieves. If you have applied for a credit card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify the appropriate financial institution.
  • Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to your credit card's expiration date.
  • Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
  • Review your credit reports annually.
  • Use passwords on your credit cards, bank accounts, and phone cards. Avoid using the obvious passwords – such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number.
  • Match your credit card receipts against monthly bills to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.

DON'T ...
  • Volunteer any personal information when you use your credit card.
  • Give your Social Security number, credit card number, or any bank account details over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know that the business that you are dealing with is reputable.
  • Leave receipts at ATMs, bank counters, or unattended gasoline pumps.
  • Leave envelopes containing your credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal carrier pickup.
  • Record your Social Security number or passwords on paper and store them in your wallet or purse. Memorize your numbers and/or passwords.
  • Disclose bank account numbers, credit card account numbers, and other personal financial data on any web site or online service location, unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.


*Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to commercial credit cards, ATM transactions, or PIN transactions not processed by Visa. Cardholder must notify card issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit www.visa.com/security.
 

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