Target Breach: Credit Union Lessons Learned
The Target credit and debit card data breach keeps getting uglier, with the retailer admitting Friday that 70 million more shoppers had their information compromised. Pilfered data now may include phone numbers, mailing addresses and more in addition to magnetic stripe data.
In most cases it will be the card issuers - that is, credit unions and banks – that will cover losses from the use of the purloined credit card info by crooks, said Nicole Reyes, senior fraud prevention analyst with The Members Group in Des Moines, Iowa.
At the $662 million Michigan First Credit Union in Lathrup Village, Mich., CEO Michael Poulos said as of the first week of January total fraud losses involving his members and their cards stood at $0. Not a cent had been lost and, said Poulos, that is because Michigan First took fast action.
Over at the $1.2 billion Gesa Credit Union in Richland, Wash., Jeff Gegen, vice president of product and risk management, said Gesa has had close to zero losses and was very well prepared for the breach.
At Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Affinity Federal Credit Union, the $2.2 billion institution was among the first to jump into action, sending out a mass email about the breach to members on Dec. 19, the same day Target officially acknowledged the breach.
CEO John Fenton said that “we got early, heavy call volume,” as concerned members reacted to news reports and the institution’s email blast, as well as a notice on its website about Target.