Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) has become the latest retailer to suffer a credit card breach.
The company notified customers and the general public that it "has taken action to investigate and address an incident affecting payment card data used at its retail stores," according to a press release on its website. The breach impacted payment cards used at Vera Bradley store locations between July 25, 2016, and Sept. 23, 2016. Not all cards used in stores during this time frame were impacted, and cards used on the company's website, verabradley.com were not affected.
The company has made information available at www.verabradley.com/protectingourcustomers for customers who may have had their information compromised, detailing what steps they should take.
"Potentially affected customers are advised to remain vigilant to the possibility of fraud by regularly reviewing their payment card statements for any unauthorized activity," the company wrote. "Customers should immediately report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer because payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner. The phone number to call is usually on the back of the payment card."
While there was a time when news of credit card data hacks led to sales drops as customers avoided the impacted chains, they have now become so common that people mostly ignore them. For example, in July Wendy's reported that customers' credit card information had been compromised in two attacks impacting approximately 1,025 franchisee-operated restaurants, USA Today reported.
Like Vera Bradley, the fast food chain quickly acknowledged the attacks, shared its plans to deal with them, and explained fully what had happened. Being transparent seems to be the correct way to handle a security breach. Consumers have simply seen too many breaches to worry about any individual one.
This latest breach should be nothing but a mild hassle for those impacted. In some cases, banks will proactively replace customers' credit or debit cards to give them new numbers, but for most people, this will just be more white noise.
Vera Bradley was smart to come forward and share what knows about the data breach. When credit card information is hacked, being forthright with consumers minimizes the business impact, and it's reasonable to think the chain will not face any major sales disruptions as a result.
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