TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Credit and debit cards, almost everyone has them, and they can leave our bank accounts vulnerable to hackers.
Some Wabash Valley residents recently discovered just how easy it is to fall victim to fraud. While you can’t always prevent it from happening you can make it tougher for someone to get your card numbers.
A quick swipe and using your credit card becomes a habit.
ISU Credit Union in Terre Haute posted a security alert warning customers to limit transactions outside of a 100 mile radius of their home.
This warning comes after customers found their cards were compromised. It’s a grim reminder of just how easy fraud can be.
“Those numbers have been compromised and put into the system and we were notified we had four accounts that had fraud activity,” said Pete Piazza, Vice President of Lending, ISU Credit Union.
The fraud activity is related to the widespread Target breach during the months of November and December. The data breach affected over 70 million people, and that number continues to climb.
“This type of fraud is a situation where individuals are able to purchase numbers that were acquired through the compromise through Target, and what they do is try to produce counterfeit credit cards,” said Piazza.
Once notified ISU Credit Union issued the customers a new card, but the threat of fraud still exists.
The company takes certain steps to protect card holders.
“We use a system called Falcon and if it feels something is out of the ordinary it will temporarily block the account,” said Piazza.
While it may seem impossible to completely protect yourself from fraud, vigilance can be your best defense against predators.
“Be aware of your surroundings and the transactions your making, and most importantly review your statement every month to make sure the purchases in the statement were authorized by you,” said Piazza.
Lenders are also calling on stores to play their role.
“They should be checking for identification, and they should be checking that the signatures match on the back of the cards,” Piazza said.
More customers could become victims of the Target breach as the numbers stolen may not be used even for years.
ISU Credit Union says those with debit cards can be victims of fraud as well but this particular incident only applies to credit card holders.
The company says the restrictions should be lifted soon. They will continue to notify customers of any changes.