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Target security breach forcing local banks to swing into action


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Area banking institutions are helping out some of the nearly 70 million Target customers who fell victim to a security breach during the recent holiday shopping season.

One way banks like Associated is helping is by sending a new debit card to customers.

“As a bank, we're all about protecting the assets of our customers,” said Cliff Bowers, SVP and Director of Public Relations for Associated Banc-Corp tells FOX 11. “In the scope of things, this was a small investment.”

Bowers says Associated has issued new debit cards to thousands of its customers. He says that's despite a very small number actually having fraud attempts to their accounts.

“For those who haven't activated their cards yet, we're encouraging them to do that,” said Bowers. “We're still providing fraud monitoring on those accounts until they get changed over.”

The retail giant Target is also offering customers a year of free credit monitoring.

This week Target sent an e-mail to customers, stating their names, home and email addresses and phone numbers may have also been compromise during the period from late November to mid-December.

“We can help provide fraud protection, but it’s up to the individual to work with us to help identify if everything is in proper order,” said Bowers.

Associated Bank says significantly more customers called after the Target news broke. However, in the bank's view, not many customers initially canceled their cards.

(Additional reporting by FOX 11)