Are More Credit Card Data Breaches Ahead?

Bentley University website, 9/5/2014 ... ches-ahead

Are More Credit Card Data Breaches Ahead?

Contact: Dennis Nealon, 781-891-2925,

September 5, 2014

money-256319_640%20%281%29_3.jpgScam expert says retailers should enhance customer protection now; Next 12 months represent year of heightened vulnerability

If they want to avoid massive data breaches like those faced by Target and Home Depot, retailers should voluntarily switch over to smart credit cards with computer chips embedded in them, according to a Bentley University faculty member who specializes in ways that consumers can avoid scams.

“This will not be the last major data breach as retailers are still not doing enough to protect the security of their data or the privacy of their customers,” says Steven Weisman, author of the books, Identity Theft Alert; The Truth About Avoiding Scams; and 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity and Your Credit.

Cards with chips generate a unique code each time they’re swiped, says Weisman, and so stealing card numbers becomes pointless for would-be cybercriminals. But while the technologically advanced cards are used widely throughout the world, Weisman said regulations requiring them in the United States won’t go into effect until October 2015. The next 12 months, then, represent a year of heightened vulnerability for retailers and consumers.

What are consumers supposed to do in the meantime?

Weisman cautions consumers to use debit cards only at ATMs; not for retail purchases. In the developing Home Depot breach case and others like it, the loss of data is being discovered not by the retailer, according to Weisman, but by banks that monitor the sale of stolen credit and debit cards on black market websites.

“There are strong laws to protect you from fraudulent use of your credit card, but the laws protecting you from liability in the event of fraudulent use of your debit card are not strong and you potentially risk losing your entire bank account to which the card is attached,” said Weisman. 

And be prepared for what happens when you report the fraudulent use of your debit card, which should be done immediately. Know that your bank will likely freeze your account while it investigates the breach.

“Anyone who’s done this knows that reporting this kind of fraud can be very inconvenient if you need immediate cash or have bills automatically paid from your account,” said Weisman.

Weisman said awareness is critical. Consumers should regularly monitor all of their financial accounts to help thwart fraud.

About Steven Weisman: Weisman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law, Taxation and Financial Planning at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., where he teaches courses on media law and white collar crime. An attorney, he has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show “A Touch of Grey,” and has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country. He is the Legal Editor of Talkers Magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His other books include A Guide to Elder Planning; and Boomer or Bust. He also writes a blog at

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit