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MERRIFIELD, Va. – The $20 billion Navy Federal Credit Union has reissued plastic credit and debit cards to 40,000 of its cardholders who had their account numbers compromised by a security breach at a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a major U.S. so-called big box retailer. Loren Moeller, spokeswoman for the credit union, said that the total cards replaced represent 2% of Navy’s two million debit and credit card accounts. Navy offers VISA and MasterCard credit cards and VISA debit cards. Moeller explained that the credit union had replaced the plastic on all 40,000 of the possibly compromised accounts and had detected possible fraud on 200 of them. VISA had notified them of the possible breach in early March. “We highlighted the possible compromised accounts for extra attention and detected some 200 cases which could have been fraud,” Moeller said. “We didn’t know they were fraudulent charges but wanted to reassure our members and take the best course to protect them.” BJ’s Wholesale Club, based in Natick, Massachusetts, operates 150 stores and 78 gas stations around the country, primarily on the East Coast. The company said in a press release that it had become aware of the possible compromise of some of its customers’ card information but was still unclear exactly how much information or how many card accounts might have been involved. The firm said it had begun working with card issuers and law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident and protect cardholders from possible identity theft. “We are confident in the current safety and integrity of our systems,” commented Bob Hamilton, vice president of Loss Prevention at BJ’s. “Credit card information theft is the fastest growing crime in America and is a major concern for all retailers, including BJ’s. We take this issue very seriously and we are continually working to employ advanced technologies to ward against increasingly sophisticated credit card information theft schemes.” -

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