Security breach leaves financial institutions to foot bill - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Security breach leaves financial institutions to foot bill

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Authorities are investigating a nation-wide data breach at a popular restaurant chain.

33 P.F. Chang's restaurants were affected, including the one in Chattanooga.

The U.S. Secret Service alerted the restaurant chain to the breach back on June 10th and officials say it was contained the next day.

READ MORE | 33 P.F. Chang's affected by data breach

"It's a common occurrence unfortunately, it happens all of the time," said Blake Strickland, President of Tennessee Valley Credit Union.

As soon as you swipe your card, you're risking your information being compromised.

"There's really nothing you can do about it. If you use it, you're susceptible," said Strickland.

Strickland says financial institutions pay millions of dollars every year to keep their information safe, but the places you shop might not be as secure.

But before you run and trade all of your cards for cash, remember while it feels like you're the victim, you're not losing anything but time; the financial institutions on the other hand are forking over the money to reimburse you.

"As long as they can prove that the transactions made were fraudulent then the consumer will be made whole according to regulations. End of story, and the financial institutions take care of that for them," said Strickland.

Strickland says just replacing the cards can cost tens of thousands of dollars, not including replacing the money that was taken. 

"It could be in the100'ss of thousands of dollars that we have to write off every year in fraud charges," said Strickland.

He says taking precautions to prevent this from happening will help keep that number down.
Strickland suggests practicing safe internet use, never sharingI. D..’s or passwords, be wary about using public computers and check your account every day.

"With all of the mobile apps it doesn't take but just a second to check it and make sure that you have made all of the purchases on that list," said Strickland.

Maggie Wulforst says she keeps an eye on her account.

"I do to an extent but it's just a way of life. There are so many other things that you need to be worried about," said Wulforst.

Strickland tells me there is new technology coming that will help with the fraud, but says it will most likely always be an issue.

For more tips on how you can protect yourself, click here.
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