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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union recently reported a fraud breach they believed to have come from a major retailer that has affected approximately 14 of their members’ accounts.The credit union has a notice posted on its home page, www.noffcu.org, warning members of the surge of credit and debit card fraud that has been originating from merchant and gas pump transactions in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.Chief Operations Officer Cami Crouchet said that the source of the breach has yet to be identified, but the number of financial institutions impacted, the number of bins and the varied processors and core systems utilized by the victimized institutions led them to believe the breach occurred at a major retailer. However, they have no credible evidence regarding which one or how it happened.Once NOFFCU caught on to the fraud attacks they issued a membership-wide block for the entire state of Florida, blocking debit and credit card use across the state for members. The credit union also blocked credit and debit cards from purchasing gas at the pump in Georgia and South Carolina and limited in-store gas transactions to two per day per card.The credit union excluded members with Florida, Georgia and South Carolina residence addresses and asked members to notify them if they had any plans to travel in those states.Crouchet said that they were able to identify and block 150 cards before any fraudulent charges were approved or posted and that so far they’ve received 14 fraud notices from members with about $5,000 in losses.“We believe in being very proactive in these circumstances and generally notify our members before they know the card was compromised. We’ve personally called each of the 150 members whose cards we had to block,” Crouchet said.The feedback the credit union has received from members has been positive, Crouchet said. She said members have appreciated that the credit union is trying to protect them and that the credit union replaces the cards at no expense to members and offers interest-free cash advances until the new card arrives.–[email protected]

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