The huge Target breach has cost Northwest credit unions an estimated $1.3 million, the Northwest Credit Union Association said Tuesday. Nationally, the Credit Union National Association estimates, credit unions have incurred up to $30 million in expenses.
“A survey of Oregon and Washington credit unions finds potential for over 258,000 of our members’ credit and debit cards to have been impacted, so our credit unions worked quickly to prevent fraud against their members,” said Lynn Heider, vice president of public relations and communications for NWCUA.
Target confirmed the breach affected the credit and debit cards of up to 110 million consumers. And up to 70 million consumers’ names, home and email addresses, and phone numbers were also compromised.
“Consumers who monitor their card activity and report suspicious purchases to their financial institutions are generally not liable for the expense of the fraud,” Heider said, “but because credit unions are cooperatives, the cost of these breaches could ultimately be shouldered by the members.”
The NWCUA says for that reason, it is encouraging its member credit unions to report all cost data to the Credit Union National Association. They say the data will be useful as credit unions push for "retailer accountability in legislatures and courts."
Data indicates that so far, Washington and Oregon credit unions have incurred expenses of about $5.10 for each card being reissued, totaling more than $1.3 million in the region. Nationally, CUNA estimates, credit unions have incurred up to $30 million in expenses. The results don’t include the cost of any fraud losses which may occur later, and not all credit unions have reported their expenses yet.
“Northwest credit unions are taking precautions to prevent fraud against their members and we will vigorously pursue any possible recourse in their behalf,” said Heider.