Higher One issuing new cards to some students in light of Home Depot data breach

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Bearkat OneCards may have been among the roughly 56 million bank cards targeted during a recent Home Depot security breach, and some students will receive a free replacement card.

Higher One Holdings, Inc., the banking and ID card service behind Bearkat One, is offering a free replacement card to those affected by the breach.

The initiative is precautionary, according to Kristy Bienne, associate vice president for student services. Only some students will be getting a new card.

Higher One sent an email to SHSU students who are potentially affected by the security breach, asking those to monitor their recent online transactions and statements.

“This is an isolated email and not everyone is getting a new Bearkat OneCard because of the Home Depot breach,” Kristy Vienne, associate vice president for student services, said.

“If you made a purchase with your Higher One Debit MasterCard between April and August 2014, though you will not be responsible for any fraudulent charges to your account, your personal information may be at risk,” Higher One said in an email. “Remember to check your online bank statements and transactions frequently.”

Home Depot said there is no evidence any debit PIN numbers were extracted from the attack.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused, and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges,” Frank Blake, Home Depot chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “From the time this investigation began, our guiding principle has been to put our customers first, and we will continue to do so.”

The new cards will be sent to students’ primary address on record with Higher One on Friday. Those students’ current card will be cancelled that day as well.

The summer security breach will cost Home Depot approximately $62 million, according to a statement released by Home Depot, and includes credit monitoring services, increases in call center staffing, and paying legal and professional services.

Cardholders can call 1-888-611-1839 to cancel their card immediately.

Updated Sept. 23 12:55am – Updated article to reflect new information.