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Breaches spark credit card caution

Melissa Topey • Jun 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM


In the aftermath of data breaches at large retailers during the past year,  the environment surrounding credit cards has become more cautious.

A local resident reported receiving a new Meijer MasterCard earlier than expected. A friend of hers had her Meijer card declined. They were told Meijer has a security breach.

The company denied that allegation when asked by the Register.

“We have not had any breach,” said Frank Guglielmi, spokesman for Meijer.

It could have been a misunderstanding.

GE Capital, the company that manages Meijer credit cards, will shut down a card that appears to have fraudulent charges. They will also turn off a card that has been used at a place that has been compromised by hackers, Guglielmi said.

There has been an environment of caution since the Target data breach, said Tom Crosson, spokesman for Consumer Bankers Association, an organization that represents the largest retail banks in the country, including GE Capital.

Costs from the Target data breach exceeded $200 million, according to Consumer Bankers Association. The cost for credit card replacements is estimated to have reached $172 million among the association's members.

To fight against hackers requires the vigilance of banks, retailers and consumers together, Crosson said.

The association's members have proactively replaced cards and increased fraud monitoring.

“It is just the environment we live in today. Hackers wake up every day thinking how to steal people's data,” Crosson said. “It is not going to change anytime soon.”

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