Target Data Breach Leaves Local Banks, Credit Unions With Heavy Holiday Workload

Posted on: 9:50 pm, December 23, 2013, by , updated on: 08:28am, December 24, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – “There’s been a definite sense of panic among our members,” said Redstone Federal Credit Union Chief Compliance Officer Roberta Rodgers. “People who know they shopped at Target during that period.”

In fact, we’re told as many as 30 times the regular call volume pours into Redstone Federal Credit Union’s switchboards these days.

Now, security has to reach well beyond the walls of banks and credit unions.

After a massive breach of debit and credit card numbers from Target shoppers, you’ve got a huge portion of customers feeling vulnerable, especially since you may have to look closely to spot fraudulent charges.

“A lot of times it will be at gas stations, not in the Huntsville area,” said Rodgers.  “Gas stations are a big thing.  Grocery stores. Walmart.”

In Redstone’s entryway, you’ll find a Christmas tree, with some larger than life gifts, and this is sort of what people expect from credit card fraud too – huge, out of place presents purchased by crooks.

But here’s the thing.  Rodgers says a lot of fraudulent credit card purchases won’t even top $100, so customers have to scour their statements carefully looking for anything out of place.

While it’s easy to remember this after a huge breach like the one at Target, it’s an important habit you should always practice.

“Compromises don’t get enough attention.  You only really hear about a compromise if there’s a big one like Target,” Rodgers explains.  “Target is the third biggest compromise in the history of debit and credit cards, but in reality, there are smaller compromises that take place.”

Rodgers also tells us a lot of people want to change their debit card proactively, even if they haven’t seen any specific charges.  But she doesn’t recommend that as a first step, since it can interfere with automatic billing and cause more problems for customers.

She advises people to just watch their bank statements closely.

Doling out all that advise and checking on fraud claims, which jumped from 200 every month to 200 every day, has consumed the 17 employees that work the department at RFCU.

In fact, with the flood of people asking about fraud, the folks here may find themselves working over the holidays.

“It will really depend on the volume of disputes that we get in,” Rodgers says.  Our first priority is our membership, so we’ll work extended hours to make sure our members are taken care of.”