back to article American Express admits card data exposed and blames third party

A security failure at a third-party vendor exposed an untold number of American Express card numbers, expiry dates, and other data to persons unknown. "We became aware that a third-party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system," Amex chief privacy officer Anneke Covell wrote …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
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    AMEX subspot baby

    I've been using Amex since 1980 and never had any problems although when I started using credit cards I was listening to Bob Seger (icon) singing Sunspot Baby - that taught me to be very careful with credit cards.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: AMEX subspot baby

      Not been using Amex that long myself, but never had any problems either. Quite the opposite, when placing an order to an obscure delivery site, I got a call from their customer services to confirm it was legit, so they have some sort of screening to flag suspicious transactions (even if it does sometimes as in my case generate false positives, I'd rather that than having fraudulent charges against my card)

      In any case, what Amex disclosed (attacks through 3rd-party merchants) are attack vectors that could, I guess, affect all cards (ie also Mastercard and Visa, but also debit cards)... so maybe Amex is the only one disclosing them because of the Massachusets statutory requirements? Or Visa and Mastercard are also disclosing similair breaches but it's not that noteworthy?

  2. JustAnotherDistro

    Or just ask for a new card

    Given the vagueness of the released information on whose data was taken, and how much of it, I feel it's best to request a replacement card. Costs them money, which is too bad--salt to the wound, and all that--but safer.

    1. navarac Silver badge

      Re: Or just ask for a new card

      from someone else. Amex can be difficult to use in the UK - not everyone accepts them.

      1. Chz

        Re: Or just ask for a new card

        Despite the name, that's very much the case in the USA as well. Most Amex users will be used to this and have another card in their wallet. Albeit one that likely generates less cash-back, which is the primary reason I have one in the first place.

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: Or just ask for a new card

          I use a business Amex. I am a long, loyal user after my previous card, a Discover through Advanta Bank, suddenly CEASED OPERATIONS, with a week's warning. The email was something like, "We are closing and your credit cards will no longer work on (date a week away). But, of course, you'll still owe us the dosh." I had a room reservation for an upcoming business trip that would not be held when the card went away. Called other card companies, and they couldn't get me a card in a week, maybe not even two. American Express, which I had not had since the old green charge card, welcomed me back, overnighted me the card, and I am a loyal customer since. Their service, including user-friendly liveware on the phone, is an example of how to get and keep a customer.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Or just ask for a new card

        Most places do. Some small merchants aren't. But then that's one more reason to use more than one card.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it's different in the US, but in Europe a lot of smaller companies won't accept Amex because their transaction charges are considerably higher than other card providers.

  4. John Smith 8

    They've had this for years. We booked a car service in Hawaii in 2016, and BA Platinum amex was then stolen from this little crappy car company, They traced it back to them eventually, not before claiming we'd done something wrong.

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