Protecting bank accounts from hackers

By Jillian Marshall

January 4, 2014 Updated Jan 4, 2014 at 12:52 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) It's been more than a month since the massive credit card breach at Target -- the nation's third largest retailer -- and people are still wary about their bank information being ripped off by hackers.

Because of Target's Black Friday security breach, consumers have been extra careful making purchases there and at other retailers. They're also checking their bank statements more often.

That's what led a local mother to determine her account information had been stolen, although it's not clear if it was stolen during a purchase from Target.

Visions Federal Credit Union decided to take action. The credit union issued every customer a new card and a new pin number after the Target fiasco.

The company said they did it to protect their more than 170,000 members. An estimated 7,000 were affected by the security breach -- but only a handful actually had their information stolen as a direct result of shopping at Target.

"We feel it's very important that they feel safe and we feel safe that people out there do not have their accounts or account numbers and aren't using them," said Vice President of Lending Tracey Wheeler.

The credit union said the best -- and simplest -- thing to do is monitor bank accounts.

Wheeler says consumers with the slightest inkling their account information was stolen should get a new card as soon as possible because it can be used it at anytime.

"The potential is down the road that these same fraudsters can get these account numbers six months, 12 months down the road and start using them at that time, that's the risk that you take," Wheeler said.

In an Dec. 27 article on Target's website, the company said: "Our investigation into the data breach incident is continuing and ongoing.. we are still in the early stages of this criminal and forensic investigation.. we remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure."

Wheeler recommends consumers obtain a new card, contact their bank and contact their local police department if they suspect their account information has been compromised.

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