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Tag Archive | "debit cards"

Home Depot payment system breached


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From the Better Business Bureau

 

A perfect storm is hitting consumers who use debit cards. Data theft from major U.S. retailers and new bank policies are changing the security landscape. Banks have been getting crunched by expenses related to covering credit and debit card fraud; and recently, Chase Bank announced that very soon if you don’t exercise ordinary care you will be responsible for all authorized and unauthorized debit transactions. Examples of not exercising ordinary care include keeping your PIN with your card or using your birthday as your PIN.

Home Depot has now confirmed its payment data system was breached. If you used a debit or credit card at a Home Depot store from April forward, crooks have your card numbers. The Home Depot official press release indicates that debit card PIN numbers were not compromised. However, financial institutions contacted by KrebsOnSecurity are reporting a steep increase over the past few days in fraudulent ATM withdrawals on customer accounts. Krebs reports that card data for sale on criminal websites was stolen from Home Depot, allowing thieves to create counterfeit copies of debit and credit cards. If criminals change the PIN on those accounts, the fabricated debit cards can then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs. Krebs reports that a large bank on the West Coast lost more than $300,000 in two hours to PIN fraud on multiple debit cards that had all been used recently at Home Depot. The bank manager said the criminals called customer service at the bank and provided the last four of each cardholder’s Social Security number, date of birth, and the expiration date on the card.

Home Depot is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any customer who has shopped at a Home Depot store in 2014, from April on. Customers who wish to take advantage of these services can learn more at www.homedepot.com or by calling 1-800-HOMEDEPOT (800-466-3337). Responding to the increasing threat of cyber-attacks on the retail industry, Home Depot will roll out EMV “Chip and PIN” to all U.S. stores by the end of this year. October 2015 is the deadline established by the payments industry.

If you have shopped in a Home Depot store, BBB recommends you take advantage of this free identity protection service. Other steps you should take include:

* Do not use the same password or PIN for your financial accounts as you do for any other account. If your password/PIN information is stolen from one site, the risk is greatly reduced if that is the only place you are using it.

* Take caution in the PIN number you use, how it is stored, and who you share it with.

* Regularly check all your accounts to make sure there are no unauthorized withdrawals or expenditures.

* Use annualcreditreport.com to check your credit on a regular basis through the three major credit reporting agencies.

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IRS offers new guidance on FSA and HRA debit cards


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued new guidance allowing the continued use of health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) debit cards for the purchase of prescribed over-the-counter medicines and drugs.
The new guidance modifies previous guidance to permit taxpayers to continue using FSA and HRA debit cards to purchase over-the-counter medications for which the taxpayer has a prescription. Effective after Jan. 15, 2011, in accordance with the new guidance, this use of debit cards must comply with procedures reflecting those that pharmacies currently follow when selling prescribed medicines or drugs.
The procedures include requirements that a prescription for the medication be presented to the pharmacy or the mail-order or web-based vendor that dispenses the medication and that proper records be retained.
In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, the cost of over-the-counter medicines or drugs can be reimbursed from a health FSA or HRA if a prescription has been obtained. The requirement to obtain a prescription does not apply to insulin.
The prescription requirement applies to purchases made on or after Jan. 1, 2011, and not to purchases made in 2010 even if reimbursed after Dec. 31, 2010. Because the requirement applies only to over-the-counter medications, it does not apply to other health care expenses such as medical devices, eye glasses or contact lenses.
The new guidance, IRS Notice 2011-5, as well as answers to frequently asked questions on IRS.gov, also contain further details on health FSA and HRA debit card purchases, including purchases from health care providers other than pharmacies and mail order and web-based vendors.
For guidance on health FSA and HRA debit card purchases at “90 percent pharmacies,” see IRS Notice 2010-59. More information on health care reform provisions can be found on the Affordable Care Act page on IRS.gov.

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