This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, gather site analytics and activity, track shopping cart contents, and deliver relevant marketing information.
View our privacy policy and manage your settings here. By using our site you agree to these terms.

Key Points on Retail Compromises

​In light of recent events, ABA has developed these talking points on retail compromises for banks to use when talking to the media, employees and customers.
Despite efforts to protect customers’ information, breaches can occur at the point-of-sale.
  • Unfortunately, this is not the first time banks of all sizes have had to take steps to protect customers as a result of a merchant's data breach.

  • Everyone has a responsibility to protect the integrity of the payments system and not allow events like this to occur. Banks do so, and retailers must as well.

  • Banks will continue to work with the card networks, law enforcement, and industry associations to better understand the impact of the breach and determine the best strategies to protect their customers.
Customers are protected by their banks when these retail point-of-sale breaches happen.
  • Regardless of where the breach actually occurred, banks are the stewards of the customer financial relationship and take a variety of steps to protect the integrity of their customers' accounts, including:
    • Monitoring accounts for indications of suspicious activity.
    • Blocking and reissuing cards for affected accountholders.
  • Banks reimburse customers for confirmed fraudulent transactions.
There are ways customers can assist to improve their security.
  • Customers concerned about the Target breach should consult this Washington Post piece listing five key facts about the breach.

  • Check your account often for suspicious activity – either through the Internet, phone or ATM statements.

  • Enroll in mobile fraud alerting programs that your bank may offer to warn of suspicious activity on your accounts.

  • If you have a reason to suspect fraud, contact your financial institution right away by phone, your online banking site, or at the branch.

  • Other general safety recommendations provided by the American Bankers Association include:
    • Be wary of your surroundings and of other people who may be near you at the ATM or retail point-of-sale.
    • Use your body or hand to “shield” the ATM kor point-of-sale keyboard as you enter your PIN. Be wary of those trying to help you, especially when an ATM "eats" your card. They may be trying to steal your card number and PIN.
    • Always take your receipts or transaction records with you and check them against your statements. Report unauthorized transactions immediately.
    • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who calls you over the phone or through text and email. Thieves often pose as bank representatives to steal this information; however, banks already have this information and will not request it from you.
    • Keep a record of card numbers, expiration dates and 1-800 numbers for banks so you can contact the issuing bank easily in cases of theft. Do not leave your bank statements, checkbooks, or credit/debit cards lying around the house or on your desk at work. No one should have access to this information but you.
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at, or call the FTC, at 1-877-438-4338, or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20580.
    • Periodically obtain credit reports from each nationwide credit reporting agency. If any information on the credit report appears fraudulent, request that the credit reporting agency delete that information from the credit report file. Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Obtain a free copy by going to or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
For more talking points on data security and other topics, visit ABA's Communications Guide.