New Cards Breach Panics CUs

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – A data breach at national retailer T.J. Maxx send hundreds of credit unions and banks across the country scurrying to recall and reissue hundreds of thousands of credit cards–even though no fraudulent activity had been detected yet. The recall meant that cardholders all over the country were unable to use targeted cards over the weekend. ‘Better safe than sorry,” is how one manager explained it of his credit unions plans to recall some 1,500 Visa credit/debit cards that had been flagged as compromised. T.J. Maxx., the parent of well-known discount chain Marshall’s, as well as Home Goods, HomeSense and A.J. Wright, said last week that someone had gained access to cards information on purchases at its stores between mid-2003 and December, compromising those accounts. The recall of cards was expected to costs credit unions hundreds of thousands of dollars at those institutions that took the precautionary measure, including ESL FCU, which announced a recall of 21,000 of its 285,000 cards; Summit FCU, which announced a recall of less than 5,000 cards; Alabama CU, which is recalling 2,900 cards; New York SEFCU; Cloverbelt CU, IC FCU and dozens of other credit unions.

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