BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A security breach at MasterCard has prompted First Niagara Bank to cancel and replace customer debit cards, but the bank won't reveal how many cards were affected.
As more consumers use their credit cards for high-tech checkouts, such as online or even on their smart phones or iPads, the crooks are finding endless ways to steal your identity and your money - and it doesn't take long.
Fraud victim Mark Young said, "I had $2,300 in the bank, and it said I only had a thousand dollars in there."
This week, First Niagara Bank notified their debit card customers that MasterCard had detected a security breach in its merchant network that could put some of those accounts at risk. As a result, First Niagara is canceling those debit cards as of November 13, and issuing new ones for the affected customers.
Security expert Sean Brady tells News 4 this is an example of how established businesses are adapting to 21st Century criminals.
"Our controls are getting better, in traditional stores. So where we see a lot of the fraud moving to, and a lot of the risk moving to, are all of the various online channels, or what the industry calls the 'card not present' channels," he explained.
The "card not present" channels are those when all a hacker or a fraudster needs is your card number and basic information, such as the personal data that can be skimmed off a card's magnetic strip. An account can be cleaned out in the blink of an eye.
Brady said, "It does appear that overall, the crimes are trending up. I think where it is most visible is is particularly online."
He says consumers can protect themselves from fraud by checking their accounts often.
"It is becoming incredibly easy, too. If you are just sitting down, for example, with your iPad or Android tablet, or sitting down in front of your computer, even your phone, just quickly check and see what transactions have actually occurred on your account," Brady encouraged.
There are other ways you can protect your accounts from being hacked. You can find tips here.
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