Global Payments Card Breach

August 20, 2012 3:26 pm

As you may have heard, the latest major card breach occured at Atlanta payment processor, Global Payments, Inc. Global Payments notified Visa and MasterCard, which forwarded the numbers of affected cards to the financial institutions that issued them, including Energy One. We have contacted those members whose cards were affected and issued new cards.

Even if you were not directly affected by the breach, you should be mindful of scammers, who will take this opportunity to start sending e-mails and other social engineering schemes. Keep the following points in mind:

  • A legitimate organization will never ask you to verify your information with a link in an e-mail.
  • A legitimate organization will not threaten to close or suspend your account if you don’t comply.
  • If you receive an e-mail asking you to enter your Social Security, account, credit card, or debit card number, or PIN do not click the link. Forward the e-mail to
  • If you have doubts about your account, contact the institution using a published number, not one in the e-mail or text message.

Here are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid becoming a victim of debit and credit card fraud:

  • Never write your PIN on or near your card. Memorize it instead.
  • Don’t give out bank account information over the phone or the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you know the person is who he or she claims to be. For example, beware of deceptive calls or e-mails from crooks claiming to be from your bank asking you to “verify” (divulge) your account information. A true representative of your bank will never need to ask for your PIN because your bank already has your account information.
  • Don’t share your debit card PIN, security code and other account information with friends or relatives who aren’t co-owners of your account. Likewise, never reveal this information to new “friends” you meet over the Internet.
  • Take precautions at the checkout counter, ATM and gas pump. Always stand so that no one can see the keypad where you enter your PIN. At retail establishments, it’s best to use do-it-yourself scanners. If you give your card to a clerk, be on guard against a dishonest employee who runs your card through two scanners instead of one. The second scanner could be capturing your account information to make a counterfeit card. In general, be alert for suspicious-looking devices that may be used to “skim” information from your card.
  • If you use your debit card to shop online, consider extra precautions with your personal computer. Experts advise installing and periodically updating virus and spyware protection and a “personal firewall” to stop thieves from secretly installing malicious software on your personal computer remotely that can be used to spy on your computer use and obtain account information.
  • Look at your bank statements as soon as they arrive. Or, better yet, review your account each week by phone or the Internet. Promptly report any discrepancy, such as a missing payment or an unauthorized transaction, to your bank. Your quick attention to the problem may help limit your liability and give law enforcement authorities a head start on stopping the thief.