Target Data Breach – Follow up

Posted: December 24, 2013 in Security
Tags: , , , , ,


Chuck Talking Tech / by Chuck Bienenfeld

December 24, 2013

Since the data breach and Target’s assurance they are doing everything they can to get to the bottom of this, I’ve also been doing my part to protect our financial security.

Via my online banking access I reviewed the credit or debit cards for any Target charges between November 27th and December 15th.  One of the credit cards did have a Target purchase between those dates as well as the debit card.  Now I was able to focus my monitoring on those two accounts.

Even while I was continuing to monitoring these accounts, I was also debating closing those cards and having my banks re-issue them.  Then main hold up for me was it is the holidays and I don’t want to be without access to cash or credit.  But while listening to my security podcasts it became clearer to me that the right move for me was to cancel the cards.  They warned that if the cards had been compromised I would not see big charges at first.  The odds were that there would be small trial charges.  Once the bad guys new the numbers were good they may not use them again for months as to allow the news and furor die down.  As it turned out I did see two small Amazon charges ($19.99 and $21.59) appeared on the Bank of America card for items that we did not purchase. I was glad they hit Amazon as I was able to review my Amazon purchasing history and confirm these were not purchases I made. With this find I decided to close the cards I was monitoring.  This did two things for me.  I protected my accounts and gave the finger to the bad guys.  Not the ones who breached Target’s databases but those that bought the stolen card numbers.  Now they have paid for something they can not use.

I must say both Bank of America and Chase went above and beyond in their customer services and responsiveness.   I started with Bank of America.  The customer service rep told me they have been constantly processing cancelation requests and reissuing new cards.  I did add the kink that we were going to be traveling over New Year’s weekend and that is why I was hesitant in canceling the card.  She told me that since this was a fraud case and urgent circumstance she would wave the rush processing fee and I would get my card in two days (the day after Christmas).  I was very impressed.  She even followed up later in the day with a phone call to confirm that the delivery date would not impact of traveling.

Chase also went above and beyond.  Here they canceled my debit card (it was tied to the Target Red-Card).  I was going to take out a lump sum of cash to cover the down time before getting the new debit card but the bank teller instead provided me with a temporary debit card to use in the meantime and setup the rush processing of the new debit card also under fraud and told me I’d have it by the weekend.

In the end, both compromised cards have been closed and new ones in hand or will be in two days.  No major inconvenience, even during the busy holiday season and more importantly the peace of mind that my accounts will not be affected by this criminal act.


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