According to reports, customers of TK Maxx have already had card details used in fraudulent circumstances. Understandably many consumers, and not just those who shop at TK Maxx, will be concerned about their cards being compromised in the future.
“Card numbers on their own pose little threat,” explains Simms. “However, card numbers together with names and addresses or security numbers would represent a problem, but I would be highly surprised if this were the case.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that card crime continues to flourish and criminals will do all they can to shift their interest from one place to another. We saw it with Chip and PIN and the move to ‘card not present’ crime, such as over the Internet and mail order. Since then many retailers have put in place systems to prevent card not present fraud from happening.”
A card number without a PIN is of little use in shops, and a card number without the security number will be of little use on the Internet or over the phone. “This story must not scare customers from shopping online,” says Simms. “It is extremely unlikely that your details will be compromised if you shop online. Furthermore most retailers use sophisticated screening techniques to spot fraudsters if they try. Fraud need not be a problem, it will remain something we all need to be aware of, but it really should not cause anyone to lose sleep.”