How Target Card Fraud is Impacting Shoppers

Some of the millions of unlucky shoppers who happened to use their credit and debit cards during Target’s (NYSE: TGT) now infamous card heist are still feeling the repercussions of the massive problem. From before Thanksgiving through December 15, shoppers in Target’s U.S. stores were subject to card hacking that compromised 40 million credit and debit card accounts. Target and investigators are still not saying how the massive, nationwide theft occurred. To stem the tide of fraudulent charges to their customers’ accounts, Chase and a number of other national and regional banks have placed spending limits on customer’s accounts. Chase, for example, is allowing impacted debit card users to withdraw only $250 per day at ATMs and placed a spending limit of $1,000 on purchases. It is also banning its U.S. customers from using their debit cards overseas. Even stricter policies by smaller, regional banks have dampened consumer spending at retailers of all types. Security Savings Bank in Gowrie, Iowa, for example, said this week that it would block all customer transactions due to "recent fraudulent activity occurring on customers' compromised cards,” according to a notice the bank sent to customers. "I'm basically relying on my checkbook," Nate Johnson of Gowrie, Iowa, told CNBC, saying he used a check to buy gas at Casey's General Store on New Year's Day. For stores that no longer accept local checks, he's had to use cash he stockpiled from a visit to a local bank branch, CNBC reported. We certainly understand that banks must take steps to curb fraudulent charges at this time. In fact, we recently revealed that millions of cards stolen during the Target breach are now being sold on the black market. Obviously, banks, retailers and consumers must be extra vigilant. We just find it difficult to believe that banks cannot find a better way than limiting – or blocking – their customers’ use of credit and debit cards. They are punishing the very people we count on to boost retail sales during an already slow time of year. For more, see: This CNBC article