Institutions Replacing Debit Cards In Wake of Target Data Thefts

Published January 21, 2014

The fallout from the Target data breach continues.

Citibank will replace every debit card consumers may have used at Target during the time of the cyberattacks, according to The New York Times. Citi will not replace any credit cards.

The issuer is taking this step as a precautionary measure, not necessarily as a result of an increase in fraudulent activity. A company spokesperson said the bank did not take this step earlier because it did not want to disrupt holiday sales.

Citi becomes the second major issuer to make this type of move. JP Morgan Chase announced earlier it will replace two million debit cards.

Target first said credit and debit card information was stolen from as many as 40 million people who shopped at Target stores between Black Friday and December 15. Then, on January 10, the company announced the security breach was much larger than first reported. Certain personal information was compromised on up to 70 million shoppers during November and December. The information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Although these are two separate groups of Target customers, it is believed the groups overlap, though it is still not clear to what extent.

Since news of the Target data breach broke, other retailers have also revealed similar data thefts.

On January 19, a man and a woman from Mexico were arrested as they crossed into the United States at McAllen, Texas, with nearly 100 counterfeit credit cards. Police believe the duo used data stolen from Target to counterfeit the cards.

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