Chase Customers Criticize Bank's Reaction to Target Breach

Some banking customers say they were told too late of new debit restrictions

By Catherine Ross
|  Monday, Dec 23, 2013  |  Updated 6:33 AM CDT
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Chase banking customers tell NBC 5 they saw their debit cards declined during holiday shopping this weekend, after the bank rolled out spending restrictions in the wake of a major Target security breach.

Catherine Ross, NBC 5

Chase banking customers tell NBC 5 they saw their debit cards declined during holiday shopping this weekend, after the bank rolled out spending restrictions in the wake of a major Target security breach.

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After Target stores reported a major breach of its security system, compromising credit and debit card information for up to 40 million people, Chase Bank is reaching out to its potentially affected customers with a plan of action.

Chase tells NBC News that it has narrowed down its list of potentially affected customer accounts to about two million.

The bank imposed restrictions for those customers this weekend, including a $100 limit on ATM withdrawals and a $300 daily limit on debit purchases.

Customers were personally notified of the restrictions on Saturday.

However, Chase customer Terrie Barnes of Melissa says the news did not come soon enough to save her embarrassment during a shopping trip for groceries and Christmas dinner.

“I didn’t get any notification from Chase about it, I was just there shopping and all of a sudden, it was declined,” she said.

“It is embarrassing to get something declined and it doesn’t happen to me!”

The accountant tells NBC5 she monitors her bank and credit accounts daily, recently noticing identity theft-like activity.

In November, Barnes had to contact Chase to freeze her account after those fraudulent charges.

While she was an avid, up-to-twice-per-week Target shopper, she cannot prove her information was compromised at the retailing giant.

However, after experiencing back-to-back issues, Barnes says she feels that Chase has communicated poorly with her, under the pretext of protecting her accounts.

“Notifying the customer would have gone a long way,” she said, referring to the email she received hours after her card was rejected.

“[Customer Service was] trying to explain to me that they were protecting me and protecting my accounts and I said, actually, I wouldn’t be liable for it – you would – so you are protecting yourselves.”

On Sunday, Chase had up to 1/3 of its branches open nationwide to help customers access new debit cards and cash in larger amounts than $100.

In a statement on the company website, Chase writes:

We realize this could not have happened at a more inconvenient time with the holiday season upon us. We are taking these precautions to combat fraud and prevent criminals from using Chase cards.  Thank you to all of our customers for your patience.”

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