Area banks change amid Target security breach

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GREEN BAY – The Target breach, which affected as many as 70 million customers, is still impacting the way people handle their finances.

You may have recently received a new card in the mail from your bank.

When news broke of the Target security breach during the holidays, customers like Jason Davis took precaution.

“First thing we did, my wife immediately called and cancelled her debit card,” said Davis, a Denmark resident. “She realized she had shopped there during that period of time.”

Banks, including Associated, are issuing new debit cards to anyone who shopped at Target from late November to mid-December.

“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. “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.”

Target is also offering a year of free credit monitoring.

Target sent an e-mail to customers this week. It stated customers’ names, home and email addresses, and phone numbers may have also been taken in the holiday security breach.

“This was obviously highly planned,” said Davis. “They hit Black Friday. They knew what they were doing. I don’t know if we’re ever going to be 100% secure from something like that.”

“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.

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