Local banks help clean up security breach mess

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s not just consumers left with concerns over the recent security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus, but also local banks left footing the bill to repair whatever damage the breaches have caused.

Frank Gavigan is the President and CEO of Premier Commercial Bank in Greensboro and says he’s been busy after news broke of the recent breaches.

“Customers will be issued new cards, new pins,” Gavigan said.

And while keeping his clients’ accounts safe is a priority, it isn’t cheap.

“The burden of fixing those problems all often falls back on banks,” he said.

So far, the bank has issued dozens of new cards to clients whose information may have been hacked. Each card costs between $3 to $10 to reissue, not to mention other fees.

“When it’s multiplied by tens and maybe hundreds of millions, it’s a big cost,” Gavigan said.

And that’s just with the breaches made public at Target and Neiman Marcus, not including new breaches at three other major retailers whose names haven’t been made public.

“This type of large data breach opens the doors for other scams as well,” said Michael Henson, a dispute resolution specialist for the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina.

Henson says consumers should be extra vigilant about checking their statements for strange fees, consider changing their bank pin numbers, and sign up for credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

“Those people are out there right now,” Henson said. “You’ve got to be sure to protect yourself.”

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