Debit Card Fraud Case Spreads Across TheCountry

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WASHINGTON - (02/20/06) -- Dozens of credit unions on the eastcoast were shutting down Visa debit card accounts and reissuing newones last week after they were notified by the card company some ofthe accounts may be compromised. Carolina Trust CU, in MyrtleBeach, S.C., said it blocked and reissued 500 accounts, four ofwhich had some fraudulent activity on them, after notification fromVisa. “We thought we'd rather be safe than sorry, AngelaHackett, director of marketing, told The Credit Union Journal, ofthe card reissuance. Suffolk CU in New York said it had cancelledabout 1,700 Visa cards, according to Edward Boughal, president ofthe credit union., who said they have not identified any fraudulentactivity, yet. And Congressional FCU in Washington was notifyingthousands of its cardholders of the possibility their accounts hadbeen compromised. The credit unions said they were told by Visathat a national retailer had reported the possibility of a breachof its customer data and that all cardholders who had conductedtransactions at that retailer were potential targets. While anyfraudulent transactions are generally reimbursed to the creditunion by its insurer, reissuance of cards costs about $20 per card,which is paid by the credit union, according to Boughal. The neweast coast card cancellations are believed related to those in theSacramento, Calif., area where members at several credit unions,who had shopped at the suspect retailer, have reported fraudulenttransactions on their accounts being conducted in Russia andelsewhere overseas. Credit unions in Texas and Florida havereported similar incidents in the past two weeks.

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