Local Banks Offer Target Customers Protection

Posted at: 01/14/2014 5:47 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- More than 100 million people were affected by the Target security breach. And now, some local banks are stepping up, and taking measures to make sure their customers are protected.

It's being called one of the worst security breaches in history, with more than a hundred million debit card numbers, pin data, and other personal information stolen from Target customers.

And now, some local banks are taking action to protect their customers.

Cheryl Schaefer is the Senior Vice President and COO of Think Mutual Bank in Rochester. She says the bank received a list of accounts that are believed to be compromised. Every customer on that list is automatically getting a new debit card.

"We just thought that it was good protection for the customers and we just feel like there's so many unknown things we're not aware of we just thought it was best," said Schaefer.

It's the same thing at Merchants Bank, and First Alliance Credit Union, also in Rochester. And while the data breach is serious, experts say it happens more often than we think.

"For customers I think its scary for them. For us, we're used to it. I hate to say it but we're used to it. I feel like it's the day of plastic. There's so many good monitering tools out there. We don't panic about it," said Schaefer.

And this kind of thing may only get worse in the future. Bitsight, a tech firm that rates companies on security breaches, found an increase in cyber attacks in the fourth quarter of 2013. But with an increased risk, comes increase protection, which may be in the form of a new kind of credit card, called the EVM chip card.

"They are supposed to be more fraud preventative. You can't duplicate them as well as they can the magnetic strips," said Schaefer.

In the meantime, everyone is urged to be on alert.

"The customer is the best person to know whether or not things have happened on their accounts," said Schaefer.