Last-minute holiday shopping is in full swing, but some customers were met with an unexpected delay after the Greater Minnesota Credit Union canceled debit cards for those who shopped at Target.
Although Target has told its customers that the data breach affecting 40 million credit and debit card shoppers is taken care of, and that customers won't be responsible for fraudulent charges, at least one credit union is taking security a step farther -- but the move has left a lot of people feeling strapped for cash.
Daniel Morgan wanted to buy his father a $20 bottle of premium hot sauce for Christmas on Saturday.
"It's a fun party kicker," he said. "It's really spicy."
Problem is, his debit card was declined at the store.
"I checked my bank account; I saw my funds were there, and I was like, 'This cannot be,'" Morgan recalled.
Next, he called the Greater Minnesota Credit Union, which issued his debit card. Unfortunately, they're closed on the weekends. Moments later, however, he got an e-mail on his smart phone.
"Your Greater Minnesota Credit Union debit card has been blocked and a new one has been issued for you," it read in part.
According to the e-mail, the credit union discovered Friday that some clients' accounts had seen fraudulent activity related to the Target data breach. In response, the credit union decided to cancel about 1,000 debit cards that were used at Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 even if they found no problems.
"I don't have access to cash until Monday," Morgan told Fox 9 News.
Other financial institutions are also taking action, though not as drastic. JP Morgan Chase is telling its 2 million customers who shopped at Target during the breach that they are limited to $100 a day of cash withdrawals and $300 per day of purchases using their cards. Bank of America and Citigroup representatives tell Fox 9 News they are also taking steps to protect accounts, but they're not canceling cards.
"If I decide to cancel my card, then I should be able to cancel my card. Otherwise, don't cancel it for me," Morgan said.
On Sunday, Morgan tried in vain to pull out some of his cash from an ATM.
"It's not working," he lamented. "It's just a little difficult."
Yet, even though he's locked out of his account for now, Morgan said the experience has taught him a valuable lesson.
"I'll definitely consider keeping a little bit extra on hand -- in a shoe box at home -- just to make sure I'm safe," he said.
Morgan also plans to go to the credit union first thing in the morning to withdraw some money and give an earful to a manager. Meanwhile, Target is now offering free credit monitoring and plans to reach out to affected customers via e-mail in the coming weeks. Affected customers can also call 1-866-852-8680.