Several local banks and credit unions are in the process of issuing replacement debit and credit cards to prevent the unlawful use of the original cards after Target’s data breach earlier this month.
“We are advising our customers to monitor their accounts and telling them if they see anything suspicious to contact us,” said Jessica Pelache, First National Bank Texas director of customer experience. “But as a precaution, we ordered replacement cards for our customers who may have been breached.”
Target Corp. officials said earlier this month that cyber-criminals, who hacked their way to about 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts between Nov. 29 and Dec. 15, accessed “strongly encrypted” PIN information.
Still, the retailer said Friday it remains “confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure.”
First National Bank Texas was one of at least three Central Texas financial institutions that ordered new cards for their clients after the hack. It contacted a number of its customers via mail and by issuing new cards.
“The problem has been manageable,” said First Texas Bank President Pat Kaufman. “We took swift and immediate action.”
First Texas Bank reissued several hundred cards to its customers shortly after the incident occurred.
Texas Partners Federal Credit Union also ordered several hundred replacement cards.
“We have been proactive,” said Shelley Carlson, Texas Partners’ director of marketing. “We have been closing out debit cards and reissuing them out for those members who have been compromised.”
By ordering replacement cards, the financial institutions are preventing access to accounts that have those credit or debit card numbers, Pelache said.
“Once the card is closed, that card number doesn’t exist anymore ... so you can’t make any purchases on it.”
Representatives from the three financial institutions said most of the cards already were ordered and customers whose accounts were compromised should either have their new cards or will receive them soon.
They also said it is safer to continually monitor checking accounts to watch for fraudulent charges. If there is suspicious activity on an account, the account holder should contact the respective financial institution.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.