Keeping Payment Card Accounts Safe from Hackers

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By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Jared Roberts

CARBONDALE -- Credit card hacking has made headlines in recent weeks. However, it's not scaring Americans away from swiping. A new poll shows less than half of us are changing our habits.

 
Banks, on the other hand, have been forced to step up security and spend more money to deal with the breaches.
 
Information from millions of customers have been stolen, and more retailers have possibly been compromised. Both are big concerns for SIU Credit Union in Carbondale.
 
Vice President of Finance, Mike Lantrip, says it's crucial that the credit union keep a close watch for fraud. They end up paying for the cases that slip through.
 
"We have fraud monitoring that runs 24/7 on every transaction that's done," said Lantrip. "Figures out what you kind of do."
 
When Target announced a breach affecting 40 million debit and credit cards, the credit union gave all its customers who shopped at Target new cards.
 
"You know its a big manual process," said Lantrip. "You've got to notify all these people, they're inconvenienced. You know you've got bills that hit your card automatically, so you've got to call all those merchants."
 
For the breach at Target, the credit union had to replace about twelve hundred. Since then, Neiman Marcus and Michaels have also admitted they may have been hit.
 
"Issuance cost is probably about five bucks a card from the mailings we have to do," said Lantrip. "New plastics, and new pin numbers."
     
Target has offered free credit monitoring to customers. Security experts also recommend changing passwords to your online accounts.
 
One simple step Lantrip urges is matching receipts with purchases.
     
"Always, not just this time." said Lantrip. "Always check your account, make sure what you did is yours."
 
Look for out-of-place charges in strange cities. Thieves may also try to buy items from stores close to home.
 
If there is suspicious activity on your debit or credit card, you'll likely get a call from a fraud service letting you know. However, those companies should only ask about purchases. You should never be asked to give out your card number.
 
You can find more information about Target and their breach information here: https://corporate.target.com/about/payment-card-issue
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