Stolen credit card information is one of the biggest causes of identity theft in the United States. Over the holiday season, Target experienced one of its biggest breaches of security as up to 110 million of its customers nationwide had information stolen.
The information stolen includes debit and credit card numbers, names, addresses and phone numbers which will certainly put all of those customers at risk of having their identity stolen. It was reported by The Washington Post that the scandal has already led to two lawsuits and both state and federal investigations. Target is currently working with the Department of Justice and Secret Service to find out who stole the information.
Obviously this event is a pretty big deal as it is still unknown who was behind the security breach. Whoever it was managed to gain access to a lot of confidential information. Some of Target’s stores have taken some action by giving its customers information about security tips and even going as far as offering free credit monitoring.
Information was also pointed out that Target is one of the leading industries in data mining, meaning they are able to gather so much information on customers that they can predict shopping habits. It is certainly frightening to think that someone managed to steal all of this information.
Due to the scandal, the United States has begun looking at better technology to help prevent credit card fraud. Several banks have already replaced cards for its customers. One technology that makes a credit card safer is an EMV chip. The EMV chip is a global credit card verification technology created by Europay, MasterCard and Visa. The main benefit of this technology is that it is much more difficult for any identity thieves to clone. Unfortunately, EMV chips are not widely used in the United States despite being used around the rest of the world.
The lack of safer credit card technology is mainly attributed to cost but the recent Target scandal as certainly given a new outlook on what must be done to protect people from having private information stolen.
In a newsletter known as the “Nilson Report”, it was reported that about half of all credit and debit card fraud in the world comes from the United States totaling close to 5.7 billion dollars annually. Clearly something should be done about this and having protective technology such as the EMV chip would certainly help.
For some security tips, you can check out this website provided by Visa.