Consumers say card breaches common

Consumers are suffering from "breach fatigue", since many retailers have been the target of card and data breaches in the last year. While the massive Target (NYSE:TGT) breach has been the most publicized, Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Kmart (NYSE:SHLD), SuperValu (NYSE:SVU) and a host of other retailers have also been targeted.

In a new Wall Street Journal/ ABCNews poll, 45 percent of Americans said that a retailer, bank or credit-card company has told them or a household member that their payment card details were stolen in a data breach. In many of the letters, retailers and card issuers pledged to protect consumers from fraudulent charges.

"Whenever a consumer uses their card at the point of sale, it's almost impossible to know whether or not the merchant they're visiting has been breached," Al Pascual, director of fraud and security at Javelin Strategy & Research, told CBS News. Retail fraud is so rampart in part because it is difficult to catch and prosecute the offenders, Pascual said.

And, while much of the focus has been on retail breaches over the past year, e-commerce fraud will likely be four times as large as credit cards, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. "That problem is going to dwarf fraud at the point-of-sale," Pascual said.

In fact, 15 percent of consumers surveyed in The Wall Street Journal/ ABC News poll said that either they or a member of their household had been hit by online fraud or hacking schemes. When Gallup asked the same question more than four years ago, only 11 percent said they had been a victim of online hacking.

However, the U.S. Secret Service has stepped up its efforts to catch cyber thieves– primarily focusing on the organizers of major retail hacks. "We're going after the high-level, the well-skilled individual, the organizers of these groups. We're not necessarily investigating every network intrusion," Stuart Tryon, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division (CID), told CBS News.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article
-See this CBS News article

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