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Members among Heartland breach victims
MADISON, Wis. (1/23/09)--Some credit unions reported that their members have been affected by the Heartland Payment Systems breach. Heartland of Princeton, N.J., reported Tuesday that its processing system was compromised sometime last year. Heartland is a third-party processor used by 250,000 merchants nationwide (News Now Jan. 22). Visa and MasterCard told several Maine credit unions that members’ cards were affected between mid-May and mid-August 2008, said Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager for the Maine Credit Union League (Associated Press Jan. 22). AP noted that this is the third time in two years that Maine financial institutions have had to deal with a data breach incident. TJX Cos. and Hannaford breaches cost Maine credit unions $2.1 million, according to the Maine league (Portland Press Herald Jan. 7). PeoplesChoice CU, Saco, Maine, said that 500 members’ Visa credit and debit cards may have been compromised, Luke Labbe, president/CEO, told AP. About 50 to 60 members experienced fraudulent charges on their cards, including small charges at gas stations. The credit union had noticed losses since October, and “couldn’t figure out where they were coming from,” Labbe said. Piedmont CU, Danville, Va., said its members have been affected by the breach. More than two dozen members reported fraudulent purchases on their cards Wednesday afternoon, Piedmont CU President Tom Shields told the Register-Bee (Jan. 21). Piedmont is disabling cards for members who report fraudulent purchases, and is reimbursing members who report fraudulent transactions instead of waiting for Visa to refund the credit union, Shields told the newspaper. GFA FCU, Gardner, Mass., issued new cards to thousands of its members who were compromised, though no member losses were reported. The credit union wanted to be proactive, said Kelli Mason, GFA FCU’s vice president of sales and service. GFA also put a daily limit on accounts of members who were compromised, she told the Worcester Telegram (Jan. 22).
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