MBA Press Release for Debit & Credit Card Holders
Beginning during the week of February 7 to 11, 2011, banks in this association became aware of an increased number of unauthorized transactions occurring in their bank’s debit cards. An unknown number of card numbers may have been compromised during an intrusion of a retailers’ computer system. This breach appears to be limited to only card numbers and NOT personal data (such as SS# or DOB) has been compromised.
- ACCOUNT BALANCE IS PROTECTED - Consumers do not have to worry about losing any money due to this breach because they have zero liability for unauthorized transactions confirmed as part of a breach provided the unauthorized transactions are reported within the timeframe required by individual institutions. (See Specific Rules Below)
- MONITOR - Banks are asking consumers to monitor their accounts for fraudulent transactions and report any unauthorized transactions to their bank immediately.
UNDERSTAND that when each financial institution receives an alert about potential data breach by a merchant, the bank will make its own decision as to whether or not to re-issue cards based on each banks monitoring system. Financial Institutions will notify consumers if their cards will need to be replaced. You should call your bank, if you have any questions or concerns about this most recent breach.
What should I do to protect myself?
Review your bank statement or credit card statement thoroughly as soon as you receive it.
Notify your financial institution of any unauthorized transactions immediately. This can make a difference and limit your inconvenience.
What are the specific rules? (From the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions)
Credit card protections -Credit card customers are protected by Regulation Z, a federal law that limits consumer’s losses to $50 per card. In most cases, consumers who report fraudulent charges against their credit card are not held liable for those transactions. Consumers must dispute unauthorized charges within 60 days of the date an unauthorized charge appears on their statement.
Debit card protections - When information contained on a debit card has been compromised by way of data breach, federal law provides that the consumer has sixty (60) days from when the bank or credit union sent the statement on which the unauthorized transaction appears, for the consumer to notify the bank or credit union about the unauthorized transaction. If the consumer fails to notify the bank or credit union of the unauthorized transaction within this time, the consumer is liable for the unauthorized transactions on their account. It is always very important for consumers to check their bank statements carefully. However, they should be especially vigilant now because of the recent Hannaford data breach.
Additional information from State of Maine: http://tinyurl.com/4sm2ayl
Chris Pinkham Kathy Keneborus
(207) 791-8401 (207) 791-8406